Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has said the new Causeway Enterprise Agency (CEA) will help stimulate business growth within the region.
The Minister was in Ballycastle to launch the new agency, formed when the existing CEA merged with the North Antrim Business Agency, and officially open its refurbished offices.
Arlene Foster said: “The proactive partnership approach of Causeway Enterprise Agency, working with Enterprise Northern Ireland, Coleraine and Moyle District Councils and Invest NI, is having a positive impact on the economy and on people’s lives.
“To date, 90 new businesses have benefited from start up training and business planning at the Causeway Enterprise Agency. Through Invest NI’s Regional Start Initiative 59 business plans have already been approved for with a further 14 business plans expected to be approved in the coming weeks.
“The agency’s recent performance results revealed that investment by businesses in Moyle increased 20% on last year and more than five times the level of planned investment was secured in Coleraine than in the previous year, promoting 88 new jobs in the area.”
Explaining that every business, no matter how small, has an important role to play in Northern Ireland’s economic success, the Minister added: “Achieving private sector growth depends on many organisations and stakeholders working together towards a common aim, which is why local enterprise agencies have an important contribution to make towards driving entrepreneurship within our communities.
“The Jobs Fund is another way Invest NI is helping businesses create jobs. Just last month, the Marine Hotel in Ballycastle and Terumo BCT in Larne announced expansion plans supported by the Jobs Fund. These two projects have the potential to create over 440 new jobs over the next five years or so.
“This collaborative approach to local business development will not only reap rewards locally within the area but contribute positively towards our objectives for the Northern Ireland economy as a whole.”
Jayne Taggart Chief Executive of Causeway Enterprise Agency commented: “We’ve received excellent support from Moyle District Council, Ballycastle Chamber, Enterprise NI and Invest NI, and we are really pleased that such a wide range of people joined us to show their support.”