Enterprise Minister launches export initiative in Mid Ulster

Minister Arlene Foster with representatives from Magherafelt, Dungannon, Cookstown, Omagh & Fermanagh Councils. INMU41 500con
Minister Arlene Foster with representatives from Magherafelt, Dungannon, Cookstown, Omagh & Fermanagh Councils. INMU41 500con

AN exciting new export programme covering the South West cluster of Councils comprising of Cookstown, Dungannon, Magherafelt, Omagh and Fermanagh was launched recently by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.

The programme is part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

The South West SME Export Development Programme is part of the Councils ongoing commitment to assist micro businesses in the Cluster Areas to become more competitive by targeting and exploring markets in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.

Speaking at the launch in Ranfurly House Arts & Visitor Centre, Dungannon, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “The SME Export Development Programme launched today will encourage

businesses to become more market aware, outward looking, export oriented and committed to ongoing business development. These are the essential components of business and economic success.

It will provide local businesses with opportunities to access a range of advice and support in the area of export development. The result will be companies that will be better able to target prospective customers, win contracts, sell effectively through a structured approach and have the confidence to take their business to new levels, in export markets.”

It is hoped the programme will help businesses grow and become more competitive. With an estimated programme cost of £313k the delivery of the plan has been made possible through the strategic partnership of the five Councils, the European Regional Development Fund and Invest NI.

The Minister also commented: “Rebuilding the Northern Ireland economy will be a long term journey but it is encouraging to see a number of projects already underway that are contributing towards achieving this objective.”

Cllr Sean McGuigan also said: “We all know that competitiveness, vision, foresight and planning is all important for business survival and growth. Encouraging, supporting together with training our

SME’s, to source and secure business opportunities with our nearest neighbours will encourage both export growth and local regeneration. I am delighted that through the South West Cluster together with the European Regional Fund and Invest NI we can support our Small Medium Enterprises who play a vital role in the economy.”

The delivery agents, Full Circle Management Solutions Limited, have received a great deal of interest through a serious of information seminars across the region and begun the process of recruiting local businesses.

For further information on the South West SME Export Development Programme or to apply for a place, please contact Geraldine at Full Circle Management Solutions Limited at 028 8776 0920 or email geraldine@fullcircle.eu.com.