An innovative scheme launched by Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council is aimed at boosting enterprise and entrepreneurship in the region - backed by an investment of £1m .
The plan concentrates business and mentoring support towards the engineering; manufacturing; construction; creative and tourism sectors and eight of the programmes are part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
The 2013-2015 Economic Action Plan, unveiled at South West College in Dungannon contains 11 strategic programmes which aim to create and sustain jobs, boost exports and move innovative ideas towards commercial gain.
A number of the programmes will also seek to unlock the potential of would-be entrepreneurs, latest entrepreneurs and innovators/inventors.
The Department of Employment and Learning has also provided funding for the Exploring Enterprise programme which will encourage and promote enterprise within disadvantaged communities and a programme to help 16 firms achieve the Investors in People accreditation.
Mayor Sean McGuigan said the Economic Development Action Plan would act as a catalyst to assist the region’s competitiveness and continue to place it as a centre of excellence for entrepreneurship:
“This wide ranging suite of programmes reaffirms our commitment to securing lucrative new opportunities for the region. These are practical programmes that reflect the reality on the ground. They are designed to provide resources and technical advice that meets the specific needs of local businesses and entrepreneurs. This is about helping the whole of the Borough to shake off the effects of recession by ensuring enterprise and innovation can thrive and enhance employment prospects.”
With a population of almost 60,000 the area has a strong agricultural and manufacturing base and boasts a number of firms which are significant players in the global market.
“By making the most of local talent, skills and abilities we can accelerate business growth and bolster confidence in a region well-known for industrial innovation,” said Mr McGuigan.
“The programmes will also capture individuals who may have an idea for a new business or a new product to get in touch.”