Foster announces £1million of business support programmes for Cookstown


Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has launched a suite of business support programmes for the Cookstown area as part of an investment totalling almost £1million.

Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, MLA, helps Councillor Tony Quinn, Cookstown District Council Chairman, unlock £1m of investment in Council's new suite of business development programmes. With assistance available to 225 local businesses, this is the largest package of business support ever delivered by Cookstown District Council.

The five programmes developed by Cookstown District Council represent a collective investment of £929,450 of which Invest NI has provided funding of £682,176, part financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Speaking at the launch event in Cookstown, Arlene Foster said: “The five programmes offer a range of fundamental advice and support, which will ultimately help businesses to become more market aware, research aware, outward looking, export oriented and committed to ongoing business development. These are the essential components of business and economic success.

“There is the potential for over 225 businesses in the Cookstown District to benefit by winning sales, boosting turnover and creating jobs. Cookstown District Council has worked to develop this suite of programmes by listening to businesses in the Cookstown District and tailoring the programmes to understanding their specific needs. The Council also worked closely with Invest Northern Ireland to ensure that the initiatives would complement the support already on offer to businesses in the Cookstown region.

“Invest NI is working with Councils right across Northern Ireland to offer support for a range of local economic development initiatives just like those launched here in Cookstown today. It is crucial that we all continue to work in partnership so we can further strengthen and grow the private sector.”

Councillor Tony Quinn, Chairman of Cookstown District Council said: “In these difficult trading times Council believes it is essential that our SMEs receive targeted support to stimulate their growth potential. Over the next two years these Programmes will provide a significant economic stimulus for our local business community, which are the lifeblood of our economy, and on which we rely to provide the future sustainability and prosperity of our District.

“I would like to thank the Minister, her department and Invest NI for working with Cookstown District Council to deliver these initiatives and I would very much encourage local businesses to contact the Council to discuss what these Programmes can specifically offer them.”