Cookstown economy boost

Pictured at the launch of the Federation of Small Businesses Procurement Report in Cookstown are (front row); John Friel (FSB Regional Chairman) and Councillor Pearse McAleer (Chairman, Cookstown District Council), and (back row) Jenny Williamson (FSB Development Manager), Adrian McCreesh (Chief Executive, Cookstown District Council) and Fiona McKeown (Head of Development Services, Cookstown District Council).

Pictured at the launch of the Federation of Small Businesses Procurement Report in Cookstown are (front row); John Friel (FSB Regional Chairman) and Councillor Pearse McAleer (Chairman, Cookstown District Council), and (back row) Jenny Williamson (FSB Development Manager), Adrian McCreesh (Chief Executive, Cookstown District Council) and Fiona McKeown (Head of Development Services, Cookstown District Council).

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NEW research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that for every £1 spent by a council with a small or medium-sized business (SME) 63p was re-spent in the area compared to 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business.

Cookstown District Council is one of a few councils from across the UK that has been held up as being a model of good practice in this area.

The FSB wants to see more local authorities using businesses in their areas to help boost economic growth.

Cookstown District Council’s innovative Multi Sectoral Tendering Programme was cited in a recent report as a model of good practice. The programme delivered bespoke procurement support to 80 SMEs from the Cookstown District between 2010 and 2012.

Upon the Programme’s completion, an independent review revealed that the support provided to participating SME’s helped inject a staggering £15million into the local Cookstown economy, generating the following outstanding results new contracts won worth £12.6million, 43 new jobs created valued at £2million, 965 existing jobs sustained and £354,000 of additional support accessed by participating companies.

This ambitious programme also scooped top prize in the NI Local Government Association’s awards by winning the ‘Best European Funded Project’ (2012) for ‘the design and implementation of an initiative which improved the local economy and which recognised its tangible impact and outcomes at a local level.

Due to these outstanding achievements, Council has developed a further ‘Tender Programme’ in its new range of business support programmes launched by the Enterprise Minister, Mrs Arlene Foster, MLA, in April.

Councillor Pearse McAleer, Chairman of Cookstown District Council welcomed the FSB’s recognition of the Programme’s impact.

“We set very ambitious targets at the outset of the programme, and I am delighted to report that we have surpassed them all, many times over,” he said.