Two firms based in Londonderry, GolfstoreEurope and Lucid Interactive, have recently benefited from Invest Northern Ireland’s Jobs Fund, creating eight new jobs in the area.
Welcoming the news, Ian Murphy, Invest NI’s Director of Growth and Scaling, said: “SME’s in the North West continually display a strong entrepreneurial focus and desire to succeed. The growth plans announced by GolfstoreEurope and Lucid Interactive are testament to this.
“Invest NI is fully committed to working in partnership with local stakeholders to improve the prospects of local people and to stimulate business growth within the region. I would encourage businesses that have the ability to create jobs to explore how the Jobs Fund could support their growth plans.”
Dermot Hegarty, owner of GolfstoreEurope an online retailer based at Springtown Business Park, approached Invest NI for support with an expansion aimed at diversifying the firm’s product offering to include corporate promotional merchandise.
“Assistance from Invest NI’s Jobs Fund has enabled us to recruit the three new warehouse operatives we need to implement our growth plans and cope with the anticipated increase in sales from Europe and beyond,” explained Dermot.
Brendan Doherty, owner of Lucid Interactive, is also recruiting five additional staff in a variety of roles over the coming months to help support its sales growth in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. The company provides systems for retailers and is aiming to secure 200 additional customers of its SellerExpress product during this year. SellerExpress is a unique web-based multi channel system and was developed with R&D support from Invest NI, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Brendan said: “We developed SellerExpress in response to a growing market demand and the support we have received from Invest NI in recent years has made an important contribution to moving our business forward. Recruiting additional sales and technical staff through the Jobs Fund will enable us to progress our growth plans quickly so that we can capitalise on new export opportunities.”
The Jobs Fund, which was designed to help boost employment, continues to achieve widespread uptake across Northern Ireland, aided by an application and approval process that is quick and straightforward with the grant paid for each new worker once they have been employed for just one month. To date the scheme has helped over 1,200 businesses across Northern Ireland to create over 3,200 new jobs.
In addition to employment grants for businesses, the Jobs Fund also offers financial incentives of £1,000–£1,500 for individuals wishing to start a business. To be eligible for this support the individual must be either resident in one of the 36 Neighbourhood Renewal Areas (NRA), or be a young person currently not in employment, education or training.