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Ards economy gets £3.1m boost

Published on:  22 Mar 2007

A substantial extension to office units in Ards Business Centre that could create up to 100 new jobs was officially launched today (Friday 23rd March 2007) by Denis Rooney, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland.

The £3.1m investment is the fourth phase in a series of investments by Ards Business centre and will create a high spec office block of 31,427sq ft, offering 36 new units. The International Fund for Ireland is donating over £800,000 towards the scheme.

Ards Business Centre was established in 1988 to promote economic development through the provision of affordable workspace units for start-up and established businesses in the Newtownards area. The new building, which is expected to be complete by January 2008, will bring the total number of workspace units provided by Ards Business Centre up to 100 with the potential to employ over 250 people.

Speaking at the official opening, Denis Rooney, said, “Creating conditions where businesses can flourish has been a key area of activity for the Fund. The Board of Ards Business Centre has already shown that enterprise can be nurtured through the provision of affordable workspace. I am positive that this new expansion will act as a catalyst for increased investment in the area and will stimulate the growth of both new and established businesses.

“The International Fund for Ireland has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Ards Business Centre since it was established almost 20 years ago and we are delighted to be here again to give our wholehearted support to the group.” He continued. 

Alan Burnside, Chairman of Ards Business Centre, said: “Today’s launch marks not only our fourth physical expansion but one of the most exciting developments for many years in this area. Central to this success have been the working relationships developed by the Centre’s staff and board, its tenants and funding partners. The new phase, which is due for completion by January next year, will provide high specification office-type workspace which should appeal to new and existing technology, knowledge and service based businesses. The design, which includes office suites and conference facilities, will encourage inter-company collaboration and networking opportunities.”

Ards Business Centre is currently occupied by 46 tenants who employ up to 150 people in businesses as diverse as furniture restoration to food processing. Since 2001, Ards Business Centre has helped to start 676 businesses throughout the council area which employ 1115 people.

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