New £3.6 million North West business centre opened

A new £3.6 million business centre in Londonderry will support the creation of 40 new businesses and up to 200 jobs over the next three years.

Economy Minister Nigel Dodds was joined by Republic of Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD, today to officially open the development project at an Invest Northern Ireland business park in Londonderry.

The development is part of the North West Business and Technology Zone, a joint initiative between Invest NI and the Republic of Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) to promote enterprise in both countries.

Speaking at the launch ceremony Minister Dodds said: “The North West Business Complex will help even more local businesses to build strategic partnerships and export links that aim to deliver maximum benefit to the Northern Ireland economy.

“With its strong emphasis on innovation, technology, R&D and business growth, the complex will be a crucial part of an ongoing drive to raise the number and quality of enterprises in the North West which operate in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. By supporting the development of a high-tech telecommunications infrastructure, the facility will promote trade and collaboration between Donegal and Londonderry.

“In addition, the availability of such office accommodation and business facilities will further enhance the attractiveness of a region already globally recognised for its skilled workforce and academic research excellence.”

The North West Business Complex, located at Skeoge, is an enterprise centre and entrepreneurial hub providing over 43,000 square feet of workspace units and 10,000 square feet of conferencing, training and IT space.

The new complex is being managed by North West Marketing, and is funded by the European Union, through the Special EU Programmes Body, Invest NI, the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), North West Marketing and the Integrated Development Fund (IDF). Ilex, the urban regeneration company for Derry ~ Londonderry is the co-ordinating body for the IDF.

Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body said, “Through the European Union’s INTERREG IIIA programme we have been able to support the cross-border cooperation that is the hallmark of the North West Business Complex. The success of this project, which addresses some of the economic and social disadvantage that can come from the existence of a border, will make a vital contribution to social cohesion and economic development to the region.”

John McGowan, Chief Executive of North West Marketing added: “This is a much needed boost to Derry and the North West region and I am confident that this new facility will enable local firms to fully exploit new opportunities and maximise their growth potential, particularly in the RoI market.”