£2.5m investment delivering 130 new jobs in rural Derry & Strabane
A £2.5m investment is creating over 130 new jobs for rural businesses in Derry and Strabane thanks to the Rural Partnership’s Rural Business Investment Scheme, with 73 jobs already in place.
The funding, delivered under the NI Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014 –2020, is supporting 55 rural businesses with capital investment projects that are creating jobs and enhancing export potential. The scheme also provided successful applicants with help in training and marketing services aimed at promoting business growth in areas such as farm diversification, tourism, manufacturing and engineering.
Mayor Michaela Boyle, said it has proven to be a “fantastic success”. “This multi-million-pound windfall has helped create 73 new jobs so far for the local economy by supporting local businesses with the acquisition and installation of state-of-the-art equipment, the extension of existing premises, and the delivery of training and marketing provisions,” she said.
Strabane based Modular Building manufacturer, KES Group Ltd, is one local business to have secured funding from the scheme for the installation of state-of-the-art machinery and the creation of 3 new jobs as part of a larger recruitment drive. Conor McCrossan, Managing Director of KES Group Ltd, said: “Purchasing this equipment will allow us to manufacture Structural Insulated Panels in-house which will not only increase our operational capacity but crucially improve the quality of our end products. Specific to the introduction of this equipment, we will be creating three jobs within the team, to include two regional sales managers and a production manager.”
Chair of the Local Action Group of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership, Councillor Jim McKeever said: “We were inundated with applications throughout each of the six rounds of funding, and we worked meticulously with applicants to guide them through each stage of the application process. This attention to detail has allowed our scheme to allocate all of our budget, as well as exceed our targets in terms of numbers of businesses supported and actual job creation.”
The NI RDP 2014-20 is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union. DAERA’s Rural Affairs Division Director Paul Donnelly said: “Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership Local Action Group (LAG) have been awarded £6m by DAERA to deliver a range of schemes to support rural communities through investment in businesses, services and village infrastructure. It is great to see the impact that this funding is having in contributing to the DAERA vision of a living, working, active landscape valued by everyone.”
For more information on the scheme visit: www.derrystrabane.com/RBIS