Businesses in Coleraine are set to benefit from a new partnership between Invest Northern Ireland and Coleraine Borough Council.
The project is part of an initiative by Invest NI and Councils focussing on making their services more accessible to local businesses. At this pilot stage, Invest NI has based a representative in the Coleraine Borough Council offices. This partnership approach will help local businesses and potential entrepreneurs access advice and support in a coordinated way.
Announcing the initiative, Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI Chief Executive said: “As part of a wider programme of strategic change, Invest NI is currently reviewing how support for economic development can best be delivered and how local and central government can collaborate to achieve this.
“Our support has been invaluable in helping many businesses manage their way through the downturn and we are keen to explore how our support can be extended to a broader business base. However, we are mindful that Invest NI is only one of many channels through which support for economic development may be provided. This pilot programme will provide real evidence which will help refine proposals to allow local and central government to work closely together to make it easier for businesses to access the most appropriate support, from wherever it is delivered.
“This collaboration will now ensure that companies based in the Coleraine area can access a unique source of skills, knowledge and expertise on their doorstep. We will be monitoring the success of the initiative and the number of businesses accessing it, with a view to this becoming a model for business support which could be rolled out across Northern Ireland.”
Roger Wilson, Town Clerk and Chief Executive of Coleraine Borough Council, added: “It is vitally important that we take every opportunity to support local businesses and ensure that they receive the assistance they need to grow and maximise their contribution to the local economy.
“Council has an established strong working relationship with Invest NI and in these fluid economic times it makes perfect sense that we workeven closertogether to make best use of our resources. The Economic Development team withinColeraine Borough Council is committed to providing the best support it can for all local businesses and this pilot initiative will provide more opportunities for local companies to develop into Invest NIclients.
“We are delighted that Coleraine will benefit from this pilotand we envisage that it will shape the delivery of business support here."