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Mid South West Region Paves the Path to Sustainability with Net Zero Programme

The Mid South West (MSW) Region has taken a significant step towards a greener future by hosting the first in a series of business events, at the Burnavon Theatre, Cookstown on Thursday 27 June, in collaboration with delivery partner, Carbonfit.

The event, aimed at inspiring local businesses to embark on their own sustainability journeys, provided crucial insights into the advantages and support on offer through the transformative new Net Zero Transformation programme by hearing from industry experts and peers who have already started on their net-zero journeys.

Funded through Innovate UK’s Fast Followers programme, the Driving Net Zero Transformation Programme is designed to support businesses in Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon, Fermanagh & Omagh, and Mid Ulster in transitioning to more sustainable business practices. The MSW region is one of 25 Local Authority areas across the UK to benefit from a share of £6 million in funding for advancing Net Zero initiatives.

The event attracted 40 senior business representatives and featured presentations from key industry leaders, such as Cookstown-based manufacturing firm CDE, who shared their Net Zero journey, and Danske, who discussed the future of green finance. Attendees also engaged with providers such as Power NI, Weev, Encom, and Lagan Networks to explore practical ways to reduce their carbon footprints.

Councillor Eugene McConnell, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, emphasised the region's economic significance and the necessity of supporting traditional sectors in their transition to Net Zero:

The Mid South West Region is Northern Ireland’s economic engine. It is home to one-third of Northern Ireland’s businesses, with sectoral strengths in advanced manufacturing, agri-food, construction, and engineering, amongst others. Traditionally, these sectors carry a heavy carbon footprint, and therefore, it is important that businesses are supported in the transition to Net Zero.

Paul Clancy, MSW Net Zero Innovation and Delivery Officer, highlighted the programme’s comprehensive support structure:

“The programme has three strands that businesses can potentially avail of. The breakfast events like today will allow businesses to network with their peers and learn from those who have already embarked on their journey towards Net Zero. The webinar series, which will kick off from the 8 of August, will provide a practical walkthrough on measuring carbon footprints and setting targets. Finally, there will be 1:1 support available for 90 micro and SME businesses, including 30 from the Mid Ulster area, from the advanced manufacturing & engineering, agri-food, and construction sectors.”

Annemarie Roddy, Associate Director at Carbonfit, concluded, “This event was just the first of many great initiatives available to support local businesses on their net-zero journey. Two further business breakfast events are scheduled to take place in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon area on September 5 and in the Fermanagh and Omagh area on October 17. We encourage all businesses across the region to get involved and take this initial step towards their Net Zero journey.”

Businesses interested in the Mid South West Net Zero Programme and its benefits are encouraged to learn more and take action towards a sustainable future. For more information, visit MSW Net Zero Transformation Programme via their website: