More than £3.4M of investment in the local economy was generated by Mid Ulster District Council in the last 12 months.
A new report, outlining how every £1 spent by the local authority has leveraged an additional £7 from external sources, demonstrates the wide-ranging nature of the Council’s economic development work, as well as the impact on local businesses, skills and employability.
In the 2017-2018 year, 222 new jobs were created via the region’s business start-up programmes, while close to 600 local people participated in skills and employability training programmes, with 1,287 gaining new qualifications and a further 170 accessing new employment opportunities.
Hundreds of businesses benefited from free seminars and programmes on subjects as diverse as digital marketing tools and techniques to bespoke engineering innovation support to develop new products and services.
More than 30 businesses received funding via the Rural Development Programme’s Rural Business Investment Scheme with a further 70 business and commercial properties in villages across Mid Ulster receiving a share of £150K in a 75%-funded ‘Spruce Up Scheme’.
The local community also benefitted with Technical Assistance funding of £67,035 being distributed to 18 community groups in the district.
Speaking about the success of the economic development programme in 2017-2018, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Kim Ashton, said:
“These statistics speak volumes about the level of work being done to ensure the Council delivers on its economic development priorities and retains its position as the highest performing area in Northern Ireland in terms of entrepreneurial activity.
“As well as some impressive achievements in terms of leveraging funding into the region, we have also been able to profile Mid Ulster on a global stage this year with the World Butchers Challenge and the prestigious Hong Kong Trade Visit which again will hopefully lead to further economic growth with many of our local businesses creating new, or expanding existing, exporting opportunities.”
Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, Councillor Trevor Wilson, added:
“We will ‘prosper in a stronger and more competitive economy’ as our Community Plan states, and each and every programme, plan and initiative over the course of the last year contributes to achieving that outcome
“Our economic development work, undertaken in partnership with central government, external funders, our education sector and of course, our businesses themselves, really is paying dividends and the work will continue unabated to continue to drive growth and address some of the challenges which Mid Ulster faces”.
For more information on business programmes or initiatives contact Economic Development on 03000 132 132 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.