On the 5th January 2009, Waterford Wedgwood Ltd., the parent company of Waterford Crystal, went into receivership. This was followed on the 30th January by the closure of the Waterford Crystal factory in Kilbarry, County Waterford. On the 7th August 2009 an application was made for EGF co-financed support in respect of 653 redundant workers at Waterford Crystal and three ancillary companies directly contracted to Waterford Crystal (i.e., Abbey Electrical, Thomas Fennell Engineering Ltd., and RPS Group PLC). The application was approved by the EU on the 14th July 2010.
The total expenditure approved for the programme of measures was €4.0 million of which €2.6 million was provided from the EGF with the remaining €1.4 million being provided from national sources. The eligible period for providing services under the approved EGF programme closed on 7th August 2011.
A wide range of EGF co-financed supports was made available to the redundant workers. For example:
- occupational guidance and training courses were provided by FÁS, including enhanced support provided by accredited private providers contracted to FÁS under the EGF Training Grant scheme;
- guidance and other educational supports were provided by the Vocational Education Committees, including a successful course in horticulture to equip former glass blowers with new practical skills. Other education supports included the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme, Post Leaving Certificate Courses, the Back to Education Initiative;
- higher education courses were provided through public institutes funded by the Higher Education Authority; and,
- enterprise and self-employment services including business advice, mentoring, and financial and non-financial assistance were provided by County and City Enterprise Boards.
Final figures on total EGF programme expenditure were submitted to the European Commission on the 6th February 2012.