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New council plans to create 500 jobs

A new programme aimed at supporting local businesses aims to create 500 jobs in the Derry area.

New council plans to create 500 jobs

Deputy Mayor Councillor Cara Hunter, pictured with Dr. Vicky Kell, director of innovation, research and development, Invest NI, and council chief executive, John Kelpie

A new programme aimed at supporting local businesses aims to create 500 jobs in the Derry area.

The announcement was made on the opening day of city's Enterprise Week when John Kelpie, chief executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council, revealed the Business Innovation and Growth Programme (BIG) would provide £821,250 of support for local businesses.

Local business people in attendance were told the programme would offer a series of interventions to assist companies in becoming more competitive in both indigenous and export markets.

Launching the programme, Mr Kelpie said the support would help deliver the innovation which is a key component of the City Deal plans for the North West.

“As we work towards delivering our City Deal ambitions it’s vital that we create the right support environment for our business community to thrive.

“With the main focus on the delivery of leading centres of innovation and excellence in data analytics, and robotics and automation, together with smart/digital city and region initiatives, we want to ensure we have the skills and the talent in place to drive these projects.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest Northern Ireland’s  director of innovation, research and development, said the programme aimed to create 550 jobs over the next three years across a range of sectors through new opportunities and investment.

It will offer advice and support in areas such as customer service, operational processes and building successful business models, enhancing the chances of commercial success and the ability to create new jobs.

Key elements of the programme include one-to-one mentoring, workshops and networking opportunities. It will also offer digital enterprise support to help local companies develop a digital transformation action plan and includes one-to-one mentoring support to help companies to effectively implement their strategy, liase on the many opportunities presented by harnessing these digital capabilities.

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