An Bealach

Vision

The An Bealach proposition is a community-led collaborative public/private initiative that delivers real, tangible outcomes and impacts as envisioned by national, regional and local strategies. An Bealach seeks to provide global industry standard facilities for XR, traditional stage content production, live audience events and showcases together with a suite of training and incubation services.

Background

BEALACH NUA CUIDEACHTA FAOI THEORAINN RÁTHAÍOCHTA is the registered company not-for-profit entity which trades as AN BEALACH.

The lead public agency is Roscommon Integrated Development Company (RIDC). The An Bealach” project also has the backing of Roscommon County Council,, GRETB, GMIT, Western Development Commission, Tusla and North West Roscommon CDP CLG.

Over the past three years, An Bealach has developed an ambitious plan to regenerate Ballaghaderreen as a step change project that will transform Ballaghaderreen through rural innovation and inclusion.

In 2021, the An Bealach Project has been identified as a key strategic development for the Northern and Western Region within the recently launched plan for regional enterprise development.

As a not-for profit community entity its sole purpose, working with support from the Department of Rural and Community Development, is to provide a direct channel for Rural Regeneration in the North West Roscommon Region.

Since its inception its main focus has been on the development of a Hub for the Creative Industries in the Region. This aim has now seen the proposal to provide an educational and working campus of 24,700 sq. feet with the main focus on the creativity in the digital sector. The addition of an XR Studio to provide additional sustainability to the complex is included in the development.

The project has now received full planning permission from the planning department of Roscommon County Council (June 2023). The next step is the provision of an updated Business Plan and Cost Benefit Analysis which is underway and expected to be completed by end of August 2023.

The Board of An Bealach are now working with local business interests and the Roscommon Diaspora to ensure that the provision of public monies can be matched with a direct input from the private sectors.

An Bealach to fill the Crea-Tech Gap

An Bealach will provide global industry standard facilities for XR, traditional stage content production, live audience events and showcases for the community with a suite of training and incubation services “… cross-sector applications of this technology [range] from media and entertainment to medicine, manufacturing, education, training, fitness, and humanitarianism.” (UK Immersive Tech 2021).

Why An Bealach proposition will work for XR industry:

• An Bealach addresses the identified national and global industry need for small to medium sized facilities (Ref.: WDC Creative Economy Report 2021)

• The USP for An Bealach is the proximity to an international airport which facilitates the necessary links to the European and UK Immersive Tech markets which is vital for industry collaboration, for R&D, for sustainable growth

• Uncongested, low noise level zone in central location of a town

• An Bealach is an anchor initiative in the Western Regions Enterprise Plan

• An Bealach is also identified in the WDC Creative Enterprise Plan (WDC Strategy 2026) as a lynchpin in the CreaTech Industry ecosystem in the regions as it underpins the XR education and skills training propositions for example MSLETB XR skills programme for offshore wind (Solas)

• Amenities, facilities, diverse and welcoming community on doorstep

• Relative low cost base, high quality of work-life balance

• Hub is part of cluster, good transport networks, close to NI and linked globally

• Commitment by RCC + agencies to creative industries and growth opportunity

• Film and Games tax incentives plus regional uplift.



Who is An Bealach Nua

An Bealach Board

Directors: John Higgins, Managing Director JH Public Affairs Ltd. (Chair); Micheál Frain, Community Acyivist (Secretary); James Dooney, Community Activist; Willie Murphy, Chair Ballaghaderreen Town Team (Manager Aurivo Ballaghaderreen) , Fr. Martin Henry (President of St. Nathy’s College); Shane Tiernan (Acting CEO Roscommon County Council);  Martina Earley CEO Roscommon LEADER Partnership; Patricia Madden (Manager NW Community Development Programme).

An Bealach Fund Manager: Claire Carty.  

Creative Development WDC Consultant: Jessica Fuller

Company Solicitor: O’Dwyer Solicitors, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo.

Design Consultants: Collins Boyd Engineering Ltd., Roscommon.

Business Consultants: PMCA Economic Consultants

Letters of Support on file from a range of relative agencies and crea-tech operators.