Council ‘sharpens up’ for Enterprise Week

Lord Mayor Gareth Wilson, with entrepreneur Dwaine Smyth and Paul Reid, business development manager with principal sponsor Ulster Bank
Lord Mayor Gareth Wilson, with entrepreneur Dwaine Smyth and Paul Reid, business development manager with principal sponsor Ulster Bank

Businesses and entrepreneurs in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon are being urged to sign up for a packed programme of events as the Council launches its Enterprise Week taking place in November.

Under the theme of ‘Inspire, Innovate and Invest’ the week supports ambitions to create over 7,000 new jobs within the Borough by 2026 and includes free events providing practical advice for both start-ups and established businesses.

The area is already home to over 8,000 businesses and is an increasingly important contributor to the economy of the province.

The borough accounts for 11% (£3.7bn) of total economic output, up from 9.4% in 2013, and is the most economically active area outside of Belfast.

Ulster Bank is the principal sponsor with further support from CIDO Ltd and Banbridge District Enterprise Ltd.

“Enterprise Week is about inspiring businesses and budding entrepreneurs to look for new commercial opportunities,” said Lord Mayor Gareth Wilson.

“The borough is already home to some of our best known manufacturing, agri-food and pharmaceutical companies, but we want to foster an even greater culture of enterprise.

“Forecasts by Ulster University suggest that a favourable economic climate over the next decade could help create 7,500 new jobs and boost local GVA to £4.3bn.

“Over 70% of the local economy is driven by the private sector and that’s likely to grow. Enterprise Week is part of a strategic push to provide a framework which helps business flourish.”

High-profile companies based in the area include Almac, Moy Park, Hyster Yale, Interface, Ulster Carpets, Irwin’s and Tayto.