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New Workspace development can create 35 jobs

Published on:  17 Aug 2009

A new workspace development in Draperstown could create up to 35 jobs and help to stimulate economic growth in the local area.

That was the message from Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, when she officially opened the 8,500 square foot development, today.

The Minister said: The creation of these nine new workspace units provides the potential for 35 new jobs and allows Workspace Draperstown to continue its support for local enterprise in the area.

“Such workspace developments are an example of the important contribution that European funding makes to the economic regeneration of communities across Northern Ireland.”

Arlene Foster stressed the need for the continued growth and success of local businesses, particularly during the current economic downturn.

She said: “Encouraging the growth and development of local businesses is a key element in maintaining a sustainable economic future for Northern Ireland. While there is no quick fix to the global economic recession, the measures currently being put in place will take time to have an effect.

“However it is my firm belief that workspace developments such as this in Draperstown, provide the facilities that local entrepreneurs need to start or grow their enterprises. It is vital that businesses receive support now so they can position themselves effectively to take advantage of the upturn when it comes.”

The workspace units have been developed by Workspace (Draperstown) Ltd at a total cost of £752,989.  The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) provided support to the project with EU Peace and Reconciliation (Peace II) assistance of £300,000.  Significant funding of £250,000 was also secured from the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).

Speaking at the official opening, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, Denis Rooney CBE, said: “I am delighted to be here to celebrate the completion of this project which I have no doubt will have a very positive impact on the village of Draperstown and its further economic development.

“These new units are vitally important for both business start-ups and established small businesses that need affordable, high-quality workspaces. I am pleased that five of the nine new units are already occupied, and this is testimony to the need for this type of high quality workspace and to the industry of the local community’s small-business sector.

“My congratulations go to all those who have turned the vision for this project into a reality.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Workspace Chief Executive, Brian Murray said: “I am delighted to see these new units operational and to see five already occupied, with some 25 people employed in these businesses already.  This is particularly good news given the current economic environment and is extremely positive for the Magherafelt area.

“These businesses are also exporting products and providing work in export markets, which is of great benefit. I would like to thank our funders for supporting this project and look forward to working with them on more initiatives in the future.”

Commenting on the official launch of the workspace development Howard Keery, Director of the Joint Technical Secretariat with the Special EU Programmes Body said:

“This project epitomises the core objectives of the PEACE II Progamme and has helped stimulate economic renewal thereby reducing social deprivation in areas affected by the legacy of conflict. In supporting local business start-ups, such as those operating from the workshop development, we are creating a solid base of local employment that will provide greater social stability, peace and prosperity.”

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