CREW “Creative Enterprise West” is a collaborative initiative led by Atlantic Technical University (ATU) Galway, the Western Development Commission (WDC) and Ardán (formally the Galway Film Centre). CREW supports enterprises in areas such as design, film and TV production, animation, gaming, content development and AR/VR from its base at the ATU Galway campus at Cluain Mhuire, Galway. CREW aims to develop an ecosystem and a suite of business and technical support services in the West, including Roscommon, for the digital creative sector. Of interest to Circular Creatives:-
Local Enterprise Office Roscommon showed leadership in developing two editions of the Roscommon Design | Craft | Visual Art Sourcing Guide to celebrates and promotes excellence and innovation in contemporary craft, design and art in the County. The theme of the Sourcing Guide is Where the Heart Is. This is a collective call to support 35 talented makers, creators and artists living and working in Co. Roscommon.
LEO Roscommon encourages all enterprises to participate in Green for Micro, a FREE programme that helps small businesses take the first step towards becoming more sustainable, giving access to a green consultant to highlight small changes that can have a big impact on the company.
— Creative Youth
— Creative Communities
— Creative Industries
— Creative Health and Wellbeing
— Creative Climate Action and Sustainability.
The national website is Creative Ireland - Connecting people, creativity and wellbeing while the Roscommon content is featured on Roscommon - Creative Ireland Programme
Roscommon is benefitting from a social enterprise initiative dedicated to craft and the circular economy. CycleUp, by Roscommon Women’s Network, https://cycleup.ie/ is a circular economy social enterprise that provides textile upcycling training and creates unique, upcycled items using pre-loved and unwanted textiles. Their main objective is to empower individuals through upcycling education and skills development while addressing the issue of textile waste. Through its work and its community development approach, CycleUp supports the hardest to reach women and families to engage and participate.
The issue of textile waste was initially highlighted by volunteers at the Roscommon Women’s Network (RWN) Charity Shop in 2018. They became concerned about the fate of unsold clothing and took action when they discovered alarming statistics, such as the potential avoidance of over 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions if only 15% of discarded textiles were diverted from landfills. This motivated them to address this environmental problem and find sustainable solutions.
Following a fact-finding visit by the RWN volunteers to the Rediscovery Centre National Centre for the Circular Economy, the RWN Textile Upcycling Pilot Project was rolled out in 2019 which was co-funded by the Local Agenda21 LAPN and Dept. Communications, Climate Action and Environment as well as clothing brand Patagonia with support from Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB), The Roscommon Environmental Network and the Rediscovery Centre.
Following on from the success of the pilot project and evaluation by St. Angela’s College Sligo, RWN secured funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Green Enterprise initiative for the WECAN project for 2021. This funded a project manager for a 12-month period to develop and grow the CycleUp Environmental and Training Social Enterprise, promote and market upcycled products to increase sales, expand the training reach throughout the region and beyond and spread the message of the circular economy through networking and outreach workshops.
To bridge the gap in upcycling skills, they took action by assisting some of CycleUp Team in becoming qualified tutors. In May 2021, 6 participants successfully completed the Training Delivery and Evaluation QQI Level 6 program. These women, who come from diverse backgrounds and include lone parents and caregivers, are now engaged with the project as tutors for Upcycling Textiles Training Courses and Workshops. This initiative not only addresses the skills gap but also provides employment opportunities for these individuals.
Today, CycleUp employs 3 part time staff and 5 Community Employment workers supported by a team of 14 volunteers and we have supported some of our trainees to progress into self-employment.
To date 74 people have completed training and they have reused and upcycled over 8000kg of textiles resulting in a carbon saving of 65 tonnes.
We now present the journey of the Creatives and Job Opportunities Exploratory Panels in Roscommon, Ireland as it evolved, with involvement of 122 stakeholders over a series of meetings, workshops and interactions in preparation for this Action Plan.