During trade missions to Philadelphia and Boston 12th – 16th  November potential American investors were told that the North West is perfectly placed for an ‘investment hub for business and global companies seeking to establish a gateway to both the UK and EU markets’.

A number of focused engagements with industry specialists, FDI executives and venture capitalists took place throughout the week in both Philadelphia and Boston as part of the Trade and Investment mission led jointly by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council, presenting the compelling investment proposition that the Northwest City Region has to offer.

Potential investors heard from leading global company DuPont, which has a longstanding commitment to the region, taking advantage of the unique combination of benefits that the Northwest region has to offer including an accessible, connected and business friendly gateway region with a compelling vision for greater international impact.

Investors learned that companies and businesses are attracted by a talented and educated workforce, the value balance, the superb quality of life and the supportive business environment.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Boyle believes that: “The strength of the region is underpinned by the strong collaborative approach which sees industry, government at both central and local level, and further and higher education institutions from both sides of the border working together to fuel further economic growth and prosperity. This is something that investor’s value greatly in terms of facilitating ease of access to supports in the region.”

Local businesses from a range of sectors across both Council areas also participated in the mission meeting with potential clients and business partners with a view to increasing sales and expanding their businesses.

Derry based Bridie Mullin Irish Linen Ltd. participated in the mission and brought her eponymous label of handcrafted quality Irish line to Boston in an effort to tap into the US market.

Bridie explains that the trade visit was an opportunity to build on her own research, and to visit stores and meet with potential clients gaining a deeper understanding of what exactly the customer is looking for. It also allowed her to get an insight into the potential costs associated with exporting and logistics assisting in finalising price points for trading.

The trade and investment mission also involved engagement with educational institutions with a memorandum of understanding being signed by the North West Regional College and Philadelphia Community College and the State of Pennsylvania during the mission that sees the consolidation of relationships developed over the last two years.

The week also saw the announcement by both Councils of an exciting research project with Harvard Graduate School of Design, exploring how the cross-border northwest city region can be shaped in light of the economic, political and social realities of Brexit. This project is being led by Assistant Professor Gareth Doherty in Harvard GSD, who is originally from Donegal.

Reaching out to the diaspora was also a key objective of the mission and this manifested in events in both Philadelphia and Boston, where members of the diaspora from across the region attended and shared with the delegation the opportunities and challenges faced by the diaspora and their commitment to continue to engage in a way that is meaningful and mutually beneficial.

The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council also had the honour of accepting on behalf of Donegal Hospice a cheque of $14,000 raised by the Donegal community in Philadelphia. Speaking after the trip, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely, said: “This Trade and Investment Mission is part of the ongoing positive work being done by both Councils. We are committed to continuing with the positive work we are doing to drive forward our economy and to maximise the opportunities we have as a cross border gateway to both the UK and EU markets.

“We have longstanding connections with Philadelphia and Massachusetts and these connections transcend economic, cultural and political linkages. The Golden Bridges conference has provided the Northwest region with an important platform in the Massachusetts region allowing us to reach out, connect with and form meaningful relationships and collaborations with stakeholders in various sectors that have been instrumental in progressing growth and prosperity in the region.”

Reflecting on the visit, Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council, John Kelpie, said: “It takes time to make connections, develop relationships and build trust. Our ongoing positive engagement with Massachusetts has to date resulted in a number of exciting developments including the investment and success stories around One Source Virtual and Metaverse. “Results such as these are part of our key objectives in terms of strengthening the profile of the City Region as outlined in our Strategic Growth Plan and are evidence that our direct approach of travelling to the US, making those connections and building rapport, really works.”

 

An October trade mission to China as part of the 4th UK-China Regional Leaders Summit that was held in Dalian, has been hailed as a huge success by Derry City and Strabane District Council who led the delegation from Northern Ireland.  The local delegation accompanied by senior representatives from Central and Local Government, Invest NI, Queen’s University, Ulster University, the North West Regional College and other education and business partners had a number of meeting while in the host city of Dalian in the Liaoning Province.

Speaking following the five-day visit, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr John Boyle said the visit was significant in terms of profiling our region and getting a unique insight into the Chinese tourism, business, technology and education sectors.

This is the 4th UK-China Regional Leaders Summit and Derry City and Strabane District Council was the lead Council as a result of its existing relationship with the host city of Dalian where it signed a Friendly Co-operative City Agreement last year to formally acknowledge the strong working relationship between the two cities and regions.

Speaking on his return from the visit, the Mayor said links with China are hugely important in assisting us to expand our business, tourism and education connections.

He welcomed news of the signing of an official MoU between the North West Regional College and Dalian College during the visit.

He said: “I was very impressed with the visit and the way in which we were so warmly welcomed to Dalian by officials who were genuinely interested in how we can work in collaboration for the mutual benefit of both cities and regions.

“The visit was extremely worthwhile in allowing us to get a real insight into their economy and culture.

“We are starting to see the outcomes from the signing of the Friendly Co-operative City Agreement last year and are delighted that our partners, the North West Regional College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dalian College.”

The Mayor added that the city of Dalian is hugely significant in China.

Based in North East China, the City of Dalian is a global financial centre with a population of over 6.5million and specialises in the Financial and IT sectors.

It is also home to some of the major players in these industries including Oracle, IBM, CISCO and Convergys.

“Derry and Dalian have a lot in common and we were delighted to be able to continue with the work done so far through our Co-operative Cities relationship so that we can encourage more investment, more international students and tourists to our city and region.

“It’s a very important part of our commitment set out in the Strategic Growth Plan and I am confident that as a result of this visit we can continue to bring positive connections and links between the two cities,” he concluded.

For further Information http://www.derrystrabane.com/Council/News/China-Summit-important-step-in-forging-business-an

Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race: Sir Robin praises Derry-Londonderry

Legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has praised Derry-Londonderry as the Northern Irish city embraces the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for a fourth consecutive visit.

Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race - Sir Robin, Ralph Morton from the Seattle Sports Commission, and the Visit Seattle team. © Martin McKeown

Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race – Sir Robin, Ralph Morton from the Seattle Sports Commission, and the Visit Seattle team. © Martin McKeown

Sir Robin, the Founder and Chairman of the Clipper Race, has sailed into the walled city from Les Sables d’Olonne, France, where he was celebrating the 50th anniversary of when he began the epic voyage that would see him become the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the globe.

Sir Robin says: “It was lovely returning to Derry-Londonderry and heading up the Foyle, I’m just disappointed that I didn’t beat the entire Clipper Race fleet in!

“I think the partnership we’ve had with the city is why the public give us such great support. This is a place where the city got behind the event and when you get that combination of an enthusiastic city and the spectacle of the boats and crew, you can do so much more. And I think the result has been a major event – I give the city of Derry-Londonderry full credit for that success.”

Fresh from their win into Derry-Londonderry, the Visit Seattle team and Skipper Nikki Henderson cheered Sir Robin into the Foyle Port Marina. Nikki is the youngest ever Skipper in Clipper Race history and the victory means her Visit Seattle team is now in the box-seat to take out the overall Clipper Race win.

Sir Robin said: “Nikki’s performance was just fantastic, especially as I had Ralph Morton from the Seattle Sports Commission in my crew for the sail to Derry-Londonderry and he was following it avidly.”

This is the first visit to Derry-Londonderry and Northern Ireland for Ralph, who played a pivotal role in staging the successful race Stopover in Seattle earlier in the race. He said: “I’ve heard so much about the city and the Foyle Maritime Festival and it is so exciting to think about all the things I’m going to see. And when you go to a town you want to experience their culture and sailing is a big part of who Derry-Londonderry is.

“Being a Clipper Race Host Port is a great way to welcome visitors to your city but also gives you an opportunity to interact with other places around the world.”

INVEST NI, TOURISM IRELAND AND THE NI BUREAU PROMOTE DERRY-LONDONDERRY AS A KEY DESTINATION FOR TRADE AND TOURISM


Derry City and Strabane District Council [DCSDC] utilised the Clipper Race stopover in New York to promote itself as a ‘City and Region of Opportunities’ across both the leisure and business tourism industries. In partnership with Invest NI, Tourism Ireland and the NI Bureau the event’s audience consisted of businesses, investors, travel and trade operators from the tri-state area, travel media and Ireland NW diaspora.

The objective of the event was centred around tourism promotion and development, building upon DCSDC’s association with the Clipper Race where by Derry-Londonderry is the a Host Port Partner. The Clipper 2015-16 Race and Foyle Maritime Festival 2016 attracted 163,000 visitors across the nine-day event, 25 per cent of which originated from outside of Northern Ireland which provided a global platform for the city to be promoted as a key destination for tourism. It also resulted in an economic boost of £5.1 million GBP [£3.46 million attributed directly to the festival] to the city.

Attended by the new Mayor John Boyle who was part of the delegation that travelled to New York in conjunction with the race, the event also provided an opportunity for potential investments, engaging with New York businesses to promote DCSDC as an investment location. Another contributing factor for the event was to strengthen international relations, raising the profile of DCSDC and build its diaspora network in New York.

Speaking about the event and visit to New York, Mayor John Boyle said: “The Partnership with the Clipper Race provides us with an international platform from which to generate extensive media exposure for our city and brand in international markets, to promote tourism and to stimulate trade and investment. I was delighted to be part of the delegation that travelled to the US for the Clipper Race stopover to continue with the excellent work that is being done on the ground to develop business links, put job creation and investment to the fore and promote our unique tourism and cultural offering to a new and captive audience”

Guests were formally welcomed to the event by Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President, USA & Canada at Tourism Ireland. Norman Houston, Director at Northern Ireland Civil Service then provided a valuable insight into the work the NI Bureau does before the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane spoke around his new role and the global impact the Clipper Race has provided Derry-Londonderry. Clipper Race skipper Conall Morrison, who is local to Derry-Londonderry, was invited to speak around his experience as a Race Skipper and his feelings around sailing into his home town on board a Clipper Race yacht during the Foyle Maritime Festival.

The event raised the profile of the Walled City of Derry where the Atlantic Way meets the Causeway Coast, promoting the city region as a connected, competitive and cohesive region positioned as a gateway to the UK, Republic of Ireland and numerous European markets.

Positive links being made at joint trade mission to Philadelphia

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The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr John Boyle and An Cathairleach Seamus Ó’Domhnaill of Donegal County Council, along with senior representatives from Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council, and a number of companies from the North West returned this week from a very successful trade delegation visit to Philadelphia.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle said this is the second visit by the North West group to the city of Philadelphia and was organised to build on the initial good work that was done during a visit to the city last year.

He said the Philadelphia market was a significant one for companies in the North West to tap into and it was important the Derry/Strabane and Donegal Councils were working in close collaboration to promote the North West City region to further develop links and relationships previously established between the two cities and regions.

The Philadelphia trip coincided with a tourism and business visit to New York the same week by the Derry and Strabane Mayor and a number of Council officials to attend the start of the Legenderry Finale leg of the Clipper Round the World Race before its departs for Derry to take part in the Foyle Maritime Festival taking place in July and to officially launch the city’s International Halloween festival to the US audiences.

Mayor Boyle said the visit was hugely worthwhile and a great opportunity for Councils to work closely with its strategic partners and local businesses to further develop ties with the US in particularly with businesses in Philadelphia and New York.

“I was delighted to be part of the delegation that travelled to the US to continue with the excellent work that is being done on the ground to develop business links, put job creation and investment to the fore and promote our unique tourism and cultural offering to a new and captive audience. It was a very busy visit but very worthwhile for everyone involved. There is really strong Derry/Strabane and Donegal connections in Philadelphia and we have a lot in common in terms of industry and our links to the Port so working with them to further develop those business links is hugely important,” he said.

Among the companies who travelled to Philadelphia were local agricultural company, Agri Fleming and data company Atlantic Hub from Derry.

An Cathairleach Seamus Ó’Domhnaill of Donegal County Council said the work being done by the two Councils in profiling the North West as a gateway to both the EU and UK markets, and a unique and vibrant place to do business is vitally important. and really effective. I had the opportunity to see this collaboration between the two councils at work and the positive reception in the US for the strong proposition we have to offer. The trip was extremely successful as an opportunity to identify new opportunities for foreign direct investment and to promote the growth and development of the North West as well as form new relationships with key stakeholders in the spheres of education, politics and business, and to showcase the unique products and services they have to offer to the right market.”

During the Philadelphia trip, the North West region delegation met Mayor Jim Kenney, Councilman Bobby Heenan and Congressman Brendan Boyle, and attended a number of functions and events including a Diaspora engagement event and a trade mission event. The group met with the Director of the NI Bureau Norman Houston OBE and the Deputy Irish Consul General Anne McGilicuddy as well as representatives from the economic development units in neighbouring areas of Chester and Montgomery. The delegation also attended a breakfast event at the Irish Immigration Centre of Greater Philadelphia.

In New York, in addition to attending the Clipper Connect Business Series event, the Derry and Strabane delegation met with the British and Deputy Irish Consul General and took part in a City Region of Opportunities event that was attended by business investors and tourism culture, diaspora to showcase the region and up and coming events including the Foyle Maritime Festival and the International Halloween festival.

Mayor Cllr John Boyle speaking after the visit said: “We really believe that our ongoing positive engagement with the US is part of our long-term strategy and commitment to develop relationships and links that will help us attract investment, develop trade links that will in turn see tourism numbers increasing, jobs being created and money invested. To date we have enjoyed some success and are confident that our continued and joint efforts “

Derry City and Strabane District Council and Invest NI International Team Stakeholder Lunch

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Derry City & Strabane District Council invites you to attend the Invest NI International Team Stakeholder Lunch. Join us on Monday 4th June 2018 for access to Invest NI’s International team (approx. 100 staff from across the globe) as well as members of the business team at DCSDC.

This free to attend event will be of interest to companies already exporting who may be looking to expand to new markets as well as first time exporters seeking advice or scoping markets. Members of the Invest NI team will be at hand to network and provide advice on the day. A complementary lunch will also be served.

Attendance at this event is expected to be at capacity. Register Now!

When?
Monday 4th June 2018, 12:30 – 14:00hrs

Where?
Corinthian Suite, City Hotel, Queens Quay, Derry ~ Londonderry BT48 7AS

Reply?
RSVP to investment@derrystrabane.com by Thursday 31st May to confirm your attendance.

Ulster Rally 2017 hosted in Derry City and Strabane District

Ulster Rally 2017 hosted in Derry City and Strabane District

Ulster Rally 2017 set to return to Derry ~ Londonderry: A host of Rally stars joined organisers and special guests at the historic Guildhall Square, Londonderry, for the launch of the 2017 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally. Returning to Derry City and Strabane for the second year promises both competitors and race fans an action packed weekend of motorsport throughout Derry and Strabane on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 August 2017.

This year the Rally welcomes contenders from the FIA European Rally Trophy (Celtic Cup), the MSA Prestone British Rally Championship and the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. Stages again feature the full breadth of Counties Londonderry and Tyrone with two regroups, one in Derry/Londonderry’s Guildhall Square on Friday and the other in Strabane Town Centre on Saturday of the event.

John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally Event Director, Robert Harkness is excited about returning to the Maiden City for this year’s event;

“It is an honour to be returning to such a prestigious venue as the Guild Hall to launch the second year of the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally in this historic City. We have the ideal event base at Ebrington Square with two new regroups this year in Derry and Strabane and a host of classic and challenging stages throughout the region”.

“But it’s not just the venue and stages that make these events, the stars of the event are the drivers, co-drivers and their cars and this year’s Ulster Rally promises a fantastic array of machinery crossing the start ramp in the Guildhall Square at lunchtime on Friday 18 August. We have a great selection of local competitors, many of them young and some very young, who are already making their mark in the sport. Callum Devine, Marty Gallagher and Gordon Noble venture successfully well outside Ireland; we also have Alan Atcheson, Joe McGonigle and Eathan McColgan. And what about our motorcycle racer Michael Dunlop who is now firmly caught up in rallying ?

We welcome the MSA Prestone British Rally Championship back to the Ulster Rally stages and we are looking forward to the battle for supremacy between the R5 cars in the British series and the Irish Tarmac Championship regulars. We are hopeful that our local home-grown talent will again be fighting for pole position in their respective categories in all the major championships included in this year’s event.

Robert continues; “It’s great returning to a venue for the second year and this which could only be made possible by our sponsors Derry City and Strabane District Council and John Mulholland Motors, along with Tourism NI and Visit Derry, our local stage sponsors and the 800 volunteers who give of their time so generously. The plan’s in place to make 2017 the best event yet.”

Headline Sponsor, John Mulholland Motors is based in Randalstown and Campsie and John himself was one of the first to put in his entry for this year’s event.

“This is our second year of a three-year agreement as main sponsors of the Ulster Rally, an event I have been competing in since 1994.

This year is extra special for us as it marks my 25th anniversary of participation in this iconic motorsport event. To celebrate I will be behind the wheel of a new Skoda Fabia R5 sporting a black and gold livery in recognition of us wining the UK Skoda retailer of the year (for the second time)”

Welcoming the event back to the City is Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh; “I am absolutely delighted that the Rally organisers have teamed up with our local club – Maiden City Motor Club – to bring this prestigious sporting event to the North West region for the second year in a row. It’s also great to have our local sponsor, John Mulholland from Campsie on board once again.

In terms of economic benefit for the city and region, the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally will have a huge impact in terms of bringing visitors to the City who will stay locally and hopefully spend money at our local restaurants, shops and bars. We are confident the Rally will create a great buzz and excitement across Derry and Strabane throughout the month of August.

Entries for the event are now open and the organisers, The Northern Ireland Motor Club Ltd anticipate a top line up of local and International competitors and a host of the frontrunners from the various Irish and Northern Ireland Rally Championships. Also included in this year’s Ulster Rally programme is the popular Historic section and the recently introduced Junior category.