Minister Jonathan Bell announces 289 new jobs for Londonderry

 02 July 2015

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Jonathan Bell today announced that Texas-based OneSource Virtual (OneSource) is to set up an HR Outsourcing Centre in Londonderry, which will create 289 new jobs by 2017.

OneSource is a Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) provider. Its HR outsourcing services include payroll administration, benefits administration and application management services.

Jonathan Bell said: “This is a major project for Londonderry, which will see 289 new jobs in place by 31 December 2017.

“OneSource has chosen to create its first European operation in Londonderry, with the centre opening in September. The company undertook a rigorous evaluation of a number of locations looking at the availability of a skilled workforce, local higher education provision, quality of life and cost of living, as well as the financial business case. It was down to two locations and, with the support of Invest NI, Londonderry was chosen, securing this project for Northern Ireland.

“The new jobs will be across a range of roles including deployment, application management services, and payroll services, with most of the employees having the potential to earn £36,000 per annum. When the project is fully operational, it will contribute nearly £12million of salaries to the economy annually.

“The new centre will service both existing OneSource clients in the US and new clients based in Europe as part of its expansion plans. This will offer staff an exciting and creative opportunity to provide innovative, cloud-based HR solutions to international firms.

“This is the second new investor for the city announced in a matter of weeks, which reflects our strong commitment to working with our partners in the North West to deliver projects that will provide economic benefit, not only to the immediate area, but also to the whole of Northern Ireland.”

OneSource Virtual co-founder and CEO Brian Williams expressed his excitement about the company’s first European venture. He said: “OneSource employees are intelligent problem solvers and creative thinkers who aspire to build long-term careers in a high performing, culture-focused company. We will be looking for technology graduates with three to five years’ experience who possess strong verbal skills and thrive in a fast-paced environment as well as experienced UK payroll professionals. With the support of Invest NI, through its Skills Growth Programme, we will be providing the staff with intensive training and support throughout their career.

“We have been very impressed by the opportunities we see in Londonderry and are looking forward to working closely with the business community and local colleges and universities to help develop our centre.”

26 June 2015

The North West Region Cross Border Group (NWRCBG) was delighted to have an opportunity to showcase the excellent work carried out by their Partner Councils and organisations at a special EU Celebration and Funding event held in Derry today.

Funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, the event celebrated the successful delivery of projects led by NWRCBG, worth an investment value of €20million.  Principal speakers at the event included Mark Durkan MP, Minister Sean Sherlock TD and Lorraine McCourt, SEUPB.

Minister Sherlock, who has special responsibility for North South Co-operation at the Department of Foreign Affairs, acknowledged the valuable work carried out by the North West Region Cross Border Group and said that the achievements being celebrated “are the culmination of an extended period of collaboration and co-operation by many different groupings based here in the North West and demonstrate the positive outcomes that can be generated by communities working together for the common good”. He observed that “Many lessons have been learned and ultimately a range of meaningful projects have been delivered. These projects will, in a variety of ways, enhance the infrastructure and quality of life of those living in the North West.”

Minister Sherlock also acknowledged the financial contribution and commitment from both governments to the INTERREG IVA Programme.

Lorraine Mc Court, SEUPB, commended NWRCBG Members and staff for their professionalism in delivering such a wide range of projects so successfully.  She also acknowledged the importance of EU funding such as the INTERREG programme in aiming to create a more prosperous cross-border region, a core objective of the Programme.

Mark Durkan MP congratulated the Councils of the North West Region Cross Border Group for their continued commitment to work together to ‘strengthen and develop the regional economy through collaboration.’  He added that he hoped the important relationships and partnerships that have been developed through this work will be maintained and strengthened through times ahead.

Project Partners had the opportunity to showcase the excellent work carried out by the Councils and partner organisations.  Paul Canning, Chair of the NWRCBG, said that “the work of all these project teams must be commended.   The projects were all delivered within the time frame of the programme, with targets being met and often exceeded and it is all of us as residents of this region who will see the benefits in years to come.

The afternoon session provided an opportunity for guests to hear about the new EU funding programmes and opportunities for 2014-2020.   Declan Mc Garrigle and Lorraine Mc Court from the Special EU Programmes Body, outlined the new INTERREG V and PEACE IV Programmes, along with other transnational/interregional programmes.  Richard Osterhus, Derry City and Strabane District Council presented on Horizon 2020, Creative Europe and other funding opportunities.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council closed the afternoon event and stressed to those in attendance that “it is vitally important that we continue to work collaboratively to secure further funding for our Region.   As we can see here today, a tremendous amount of work has already been carried out but there is still an enormous task ahead of us.”  She acknowledged the work of the NWRCBG Councillors and staff in delivering such important economic and social benefits to our region.

The North West Regional College has been a hive of activity this week as local companies turned out in force to hear the benefits of digital technology for their business at the Digital Derry Conference.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, opened the two day event, which welcomed both start up and established businesses from across N. Ireland. The conference was a highlight of Council’s Growing the Digital Economy Programme, part-funded by Invest NI through the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland, and delivered in partnership with CultureTech and NORIBIC.

According to Mayor McCallion the conference was another step towards establishing the city’s reputation as one of the best digital hubs in the world to do business.

“I am delighted that the Digital Derry Conference has been such a success for the city, drawing an array of high profile industry speakers from international companies who are becoming increasingly aware of the region’s digital offering.

“Testament to this is the major announcement yesterday that the city saw off competition from Dublin, Belfast and Berlin to attract 100 new jobs with social media company Metaverse Mod Squad. I think businesses here are becoming more conscious of establishing a strong digital profile and it’s fantastic that we are able to offer this level of support to assist them in boosting their capabilities.
“With a first rate infrastructure, a young dynamic workforce, and a wealth of creative talent, we have the winning combination for any investor.”

Speaking after the announcement Vice President of Metaverse, Rich Weil, who was also one of the key speakers at the conference, said: “Metaverse Mod Squad felt the vibe in Derry matched the company’s culture, it’s tech orientated, communicative, there is a strong educational base and a flexible mentality.
“We deal with a lot of different clients so we need a flexible workforce. As a company we have to be adaptive and we need to learn our clients’ business to we rely on a workforce that are eager to learn.”
During the conference Rich also shared some of his experiences in expanding businesses into different cultural markets.

Other high profile speakers on Tuesday included Paul Hamill, founder of Inflyte, who urged local companies to think big in terms of business and establishing a foothold in the global market. And Andrew Jordan, Founder of VouchedFOR, reminded local entrepreneurs that with today’s technology local companies can now operate successfully from anywhere in the world.

Any business interested in accessing support to take their ideas to the next level can find out more about the Growing the Digital Economy Programme


24 June 2015

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell today announced Metaverse Mod Squad – a global provider of managed digital engagement services – is establishing an operations centre in Londonderry, creating 100 new jobs.

The US-owned firm’s new centre, located at the City Factory, is a major part of Metaverse Mod Squad’s expansion in Europe.

Announcing the investment, Jonathan Bell said: “Metaverse is an innovative and dynamic company operating in a fast growth sector and I welcome its decision to choose Northern Ireland as the location for its new European operations centre.

“This is a good news story for Londonderry as the 100 new jobs will offer employment to a wide range of people, from those with technical and marketing experience to new graduates. Metaverse prides itself on providing a flexible working environment where employees will have opportunities to work on projects they are passionate about and have many opportunities for internal career progression.

“Metaverse Mod Squad joins an emerging technology and innovation cluster of companies which have chosen to set up in the region which is 6th highest in the UK for FDI jobs per head of population.

“Invest Northern Ireland has offered the company support of £250,000, to help with initial business priorities, including creating new jobs. This support, along with the quality pool of talent available here, helped Northern Ireland secure these new jobs against competition from the Republic of Ireland.”

Since 2007, Metaverse Mod Squad has been the service provider for Global 2000 companies, government and not-for-profit agencies. Technology, entertainment and gaming businesses have also relied on Metaverse to engage with their audiences and communities on a personal level across online, mobile, eCommerce, in-game, application, and social media channels.

Amy Ryan Pritchard, founder and CEO of Metaverse Mod Squad, said: “Digital engagement is critical to a company’s success and it’s an area that is set to grow significantly over the next few years. While we have been successfully operating in Europe with our distributed network of Mods since 2008, our clients and prospects want us to have an even larger and more involved presence; Derry is the first and essential step in this plan. With a talented and skilled workforce, a vibrant tech community and a supportive business environment, Derry is the right choice for Metaverse.”

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion welcoming the jobs announcement said: “I am delighted to welcome these high quality jobs to the city and district. This investment marks a growing confidence in our local economy and recognition of our skills base and reputation for innovation. This much needed investment will not only bring employment but it demonstrates the company’s confidence in the city and region as a competitive and innovative place to do business.”

Sales and marketing, operations, accounting and services personnel based will be based in the new in centre.

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Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Elisha McCallion welcomes jobs boost for Strabane

Strabane based food manufacturing company has announced its intention to create 43 new posts.

She said: “I am delighted that McColgan’s Quality Foods Ltd has followed up on its recent investment at its Dublin Road Industrial Estate with over 40 new posts. It’s fantastic news for Strabane and for the company which has years of experience in the food industry sector. This marks an important investment for the company which will have huge economic benefits for those in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.”