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13th Nov 2012

Jobs Boost For Mid-Ulster As Fund Creates 550 Posts

INVEST Northern Ireland’s Jobs Fund in Mid-Ulster is creating over 550 jobs, according to Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.

Addressing the Magherafelt Chamber of Commerce at their Business Breakfast she said funding had been awarded to the Enterprising Magherafelt programme to boost innovation, competitiveness and ultimately create employment.

“The Jobs Fund was launched in April 2011 to support business owners across Northern Ireland to create new, sustainable jobs that will help to tackle unemployment,” said Mrs Foster.

“In Mid Ulster there are currently 33 Jobs Fund business investment projects at various stages of development which should lead to the creation of 552 new jobs, 120 of which have already been created.

“The Jobs Fund has also provided support to seven young people (aged 16-24) not in education, employment or training (NEET) to set up their own business through the NEET Business Start grant, and to five individuals resident in Neighbourhood Renewal Areas (NRA) to set up their own business through the NRA Business Start Grant."

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said the combination of entrepreneurial spirit and a good support network was proving to be a recipe for success in Mid Ulster.

She continued: “Building a strong business base in Mid Ulster takes not just ambitious and talented entrepreneurs - it also requires a strong support network.

That is why Invest Northern Ireland, and other economic development organisations, offer a range of support to help businesses with product and processes development, with exporting activity and with achieving operational excellence.

“Invest NI’s North West Regional Office is working in close partnership with Magherafelt District Council under the Local Economic Development measure of the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme.

The main emphasis of the measure is to support activities that will address locally identified needs with a view to improving the local economy.”

Businesses in the Mid Ulster area have also benefited from Invest Northern Ireland’s Boosting Business initiative, which was launched in direct response to the renewed economic downturn.

The Minister added: “I will continue to take every step necessary to boost local business during this economic downturn and ensure that local firms are able to seize the opportunities which emerge when the upturn arrives.”

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