Holiday Inn Express, Derry, Strand Road

Holiday Inn Express, Derry

Holiday Inn Invests in Derry~Londonderry creating 47 jobs. The Duddy Group is investing £7million to build a new Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Londonderry creating 47 jobs.

The project is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities. Announcing the investment, Invest Northern Ireland’s Chief Executive Alastair Hamilton said:

“This new hotel will address a gap in provision of budget hotel accommodation in Londonderry by offering a three-star quality option for visitors.The hotel will have 116 bedrooms, a Marco Pierre New York Italian Restaurant, two meeting rooms and three retail units and will provide accommodation for up to 40,000 visitors a year bringing significant additional revenue to the city

The economic benefit also includes the creation of 47 jobs as well as employment generated during the construction phase and the ongoing benefit to the local supply chain through the purchasing of consumables for use in the hotel.

The addition of this internationally acknowledged brand will underline the city’s position as a quality destination and will contribute to achieving government’s targets to grow tourism revenues to £1 billion and visitor numbers to 4.5 million by 2020.

The new hotel will be located on the corner of Strand Road and Great James Street, not far from the Peace Bridge and close to other key tourist sites such as the Guildhall and the City Walls. Invest NI has offered £724,000 of support and the Department for Communities has offered £475,000 from its Urban Development Grant. The project has also secured £1million of mezzanine funding from Whiterock Capital through Invest NI’s Access to Finance strategy.

Pauline Campbell, Director at Department for Communities stated:

“The £475,000 investment from the Department will unlock significant private and public investment into this project. This new 116 bedroom 3 star hotel will give a much needed boost to the economy as well as regenerating a key site within Londonderry.

Commenting on the development, Brendan Duddy said: “This is an exciting development that will support the wider tourist and hospitality industry in Northern Ireland and provide a new base for visitors to explore the city and surrounding areas. “We wanted to grow tourism in the North West and create employment and business opportunities for service providers in the region. The support from Invest NI and the Department for Communities will enable us to progress our investment plans and we are aiming to have the hotel open for business by early 2018.”

Pennsylvania expansion potential for local companies: Business representatives from Pennsylvania have said there could be major opportunities for Derry-based businesses to expand into what has become one of the world’s largest economies

Talks have also been taking place around partnership work with Ulster University about trans-Atlantic collaboration. Joseph Burke, Deputy Secretary for International Business Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, and Richard Kilner, Managing Director, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania European Investment Office, delivered a presentation on potential investment at a Council meeting on 14/03/17 . Addressing Derry & Strabane Council’s Business & Culture Committee, Mr Burke said they saw:

A lot of opportunity on the island of Ireland north and south”

He elaborated that their work centered on attracting business investment into Pennsylvania – the 19th largest economy in the world- and growing the export market. He said that one of the biggest business opportunities in the state revolved around the shale gas natural resources located there and said that fracking has been ongoing for the past 10 years amid tight regulations. Mr Burke said that this was “Creating a new renaissance in Pennsylvania manufacturing.

Other major industries in the State include life sciences, agribusiness and pharmaceutical manufacturing, mirroring some of the biggest employment sectors in Ireland. At present there are 13 businesses from the north of Ireland operating in Pennsylvania, including Almac and Primark, as well as many others from the south. There are now opportunities, Mr Burke said, for joint international ventures. He said that engagement with Derry & Strabane Council has been ongoing since October, with plans to strengthen ties between the two regions.

Sinn Fein Councillor Mickey Cooper said that formalising a mutually beneficial relationship was now “key”, and said there were opportunities for local businesses and the tourism sector to tap into a whole new market. “In many ways there is an open door we can exploit as much as possible,” Colr. Cooper said. “This is opening up opportunities for other organisations- the local university here is very much based on research work, and very much dependant on EU funding, and that’s going to be a problem as well.

“We think there is a lot of untapped potential here.” SDLP Councillor John Boyle said it was “encouraging” that the Pennsylvania representatives were considering that “companies in our part of the world can be of use in what is obviously a very strong and vibrant economy in Pennsylvania”. “We have many talented individuals in this part of the world. One of our problems is we export people,”

Colr. Boyle said, adding it would be better if the region was exporting knowledge and trade. “If your door is open we will be more than happy to facilitate companies from here expanding their business and their presence in Pennsylvania. What we are effectively opening up is that entire area,” he said. UUP Councillor Derek Hussey said that the research and development potential in conjunction with Magee and the North West Regional College was of particular interest. Mr Burke said he has met with the Ulster University representatives on several occasions, including in San Diego and Chicago. “On the life science front I think there’s a lot of synergy,” he said. “The desire is to continue that conversation.”

Magee Campus

Ulster University Magee (HQ) Cognitive Analytics Research Lab (CARL)

Cognitive Analytics Research lab launched with £4m investment in Derry. Ulster University today cemented its reputation as a global leader in data analytics research with the launch of Northern Ireland’s first data analytics institute, creating 12 new research level posts and delivering £4 million in salaries over the next 5 years.

Bringing together businesses, government and advanced research expertise, Ulster University’s Cognitive Analytics Research Lab, will build upon the University’s existing internationally renowned research expertise in data analytics. It will be headquartered at Ulster University’s Magee campus with offices in Belfast campus.

With 90 per cent of the data in the world today being created in the last two years, data analytics research and the development of cognitive applications to support rapid decision making has never been more important. The global potential is vast across multiple domains including health and medical research, financial technology, international finance, advanced manufacturing and energy, media, and increasingly, government policy and decisions.

The Cognitive Analytics Lab will harness the full potential of over £30 million already recently invested by the University into data analytics related research projects.

It will consolidate existing and future high-quality skills and resources to drive the local research agenda and enhance Northern Ireland’s international competitiveness.

Across Ulster University, 60 research staff are already engaged in data analytics related research, representing a diverse range of sectors from personalised medicine to financial technology. Recruitment will now begin immediately for the additional 12 new academic posts, based across both sites, which will deliver in excess of £4 million in annual salaries into the local economy over the next 5 years.

Ulster University is partnering with Catalyst Inc to engage with the wider community and create an entrepreneurial eco-system. Letterkenny Institute of Technology is supporting skills development and delivery of increased research capacity on a cross border basis.

Ulster University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paddy Nixon, said:

The Cognitive Analytics Research Lab, conceived and built from the ground up through collaborative consultation with our industry and civic stakeholders across Northern Ireland, will consolidate the internationally renowned expertise already evident throughout the University. Its founding principles reflect both Westminster and NI industrial strategy priorities; to put in place the foundations of competitiveness and ensure that as an internationally focused University, that we stand ready to maximise our contribution to economic prosperity. Through the lab, we can ensure that we maximise our industry partnerships and academic collaborations to deliver even greater economic and societal impact with pioneering solutions. Importantly, one of our key priorities will be to ensure that the lab leverages the potential of open government data, enabling our research to inform public policy and transform the lives of our citizens.

I am proud of our long history of expertise in Data Analytics and the contribution Ulster University researchers have made to core industry sectors, healthcare and beyond. From our Centre for Stratified Medicine to research into Functional Brain Mapping, our Capital Markets Collaboration to most recently, our INTERREG-supported Centre for Precision Medicine, Ulster University is ensuring that the potential to harness the power of data and develop computer systems with cognitive thought processes can be fully realised.”

The key focus for the centre will be application of research in Cognitive Analytics in a number of domain areas including (but not limited to):

  • Health
  • Financial Technology
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Media
  • Energy
  • Civic Society and Public Policy
Bemis invests in Derry - Londonderry

JOBS: Bemis Company’s Marty Scaminaci, left, with Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton

U.S. Packaging Company, Bemis Company, Inc., is establishing its European Business Services Centre in Campsie, Londonderry, creating up to 95 jobs by 2021.

Headquartered in Wisconsin, the global polymer-based packaging company is setting up this new Business Services Centre in Northern Ireland to support its European operations. It already has an established healthcare packaging manufacturing facility in Campsie.

Bemis is planning to create up to 95 new positions in Finance and IT over the next five years, offering competitive salary and benefit packages. Recruitment could extend to other functions in the future.

Invest NI CEO Alastair Hamilton said:

Bemis Company makes a valuable contribution to Northern Ireland’s vibrant Life Sciences industry, employing over 200 staff at its manufacturing facility. This investment to establish its European Business Services Centre here is a significant coup for Londonderry”.

“A number of other locations were considered for this project, but as a result of the collaborative efforts of Invest NI and Derry City & Strabane District Council, we successfully pitched the city as an attractive investment location.

Bemis Company, Inc., a NYSE listed business, delivers flexible and rigid plastic packaging for food, consumer products, medical, and pharmaceutical companies around the globe.

Marty Scaminaci, Bemis Company’s Vice President of Global Business Services said:

“Establishing our European Business Services Centre in Londonderry is a strategic investment to help drive efficiencies and standardise our processes. We have successfully operated a manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland since 1996, and know it to be a great location to do business. The availability of skilled graduates in the area, engagement of local council representatives, and the support offered from Invest NI were all critical factors in our decision to locate this centre in Northern Ireland.”

City of Derry Airport

bmi regional to operate two return flights per day between City of Derry Airport and London Stanstead

Derry to London Stanstead Air route: 23/02/2017.  The UK Government has today announced £3.8 million for a Derry to London air route. bmi Regional has been chosen as the preferred operator for the route between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted, following a competitive tender process by Derry City & Strabane District Council.

Flights will begin on 02nd May 2017. The new service will include two return flights each day, except for Saturdays which will have one flight each way. The route, which is a public service obligation, or PSO, has previously only been operated on a daily basis.The new bmi regional service will be twice daily every day except Saturdays (when there will be one flight each way) and timed to compliment business schedules Secretary of State James Brokenshire MP said

“£3.8 million in UK Government funding will allow 13 return flights to connect Londonderry to London every week. The new service will allow business passengers to get to central London and complete a full day’s work before returning home”.

Jochen Schnadt, chief commercial officer of bmi regional, commented:

“The North West region of Ireland is undergoing a sustained period of economic growth, and has received significant investment in new jobs and growth projects over the past 12 months. It is important for businesses that the region is well connected to the UK capital and bmi regional is proud to be bringing its quality, premium product to this route. Whereas previously business travellers between Derry and London have had to stay overnight in the city, they will now be able to commute there and back in a day, saving both money and time, and hopefully resulting in continued economic growth for the Derry region.”

Northern Ireland’s second city, Derry is an economic, creative and cultural hub. In 2013, it was named the UK City of Culture thanks to its winning combination of rich cultural heritage and vibrant social scene. The only completely walled city in Ireland and the UK, it is a bustling, youthful city with great restaurants, bars, museums and more. It is also the gateway to the wider North West and its spectacular coastline, which is regularly used for big film productions including the latest Star Wars franchise and Game of Thrones.

The new route will go on sale 09 March 2017, with fares starting from £44 one way. All bmi regional fares include 23kg of hold luggage, allocated seating, complimentary in-flight drinks and snacks and speedy 30 minute check-ins.

Legal Tech

Legal Innovation Centre







Legal Innovation Centre launched at Ulster University. The Legal Innovation centre at Ulster University brings together the law school, school of computing and intelligent systems, and global law firms Allen & Overy and Baker McKenzie. The centre – which have received financial backing from Invest Northern Ireland as well as the two law firms – aims to provide education and training to equip law students and legal professionals “with the tools to navigate the emerging tech-driven legal services market”.

“The Centre will also enable those interested in LawTech, whether legal professionals, law students or others, to study the technological transformation of legal practice, and the implications of this change. In this way it will foster the emergence of legal technologists, ready for the challenges of legal service provision in the information age.

The Centre will be led by three Ulster University academics: Professor Eugene McNamee (Law) Professor Kevin Curran (Computer Science) and Centre Director, Dr Catrina Denvir. The Centre will give students and lawyers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with different types of legal technology software provided by the University’s academic partners, Clio and Caselines. Clio is the world’s leading cloud-based law practice management platform and Caselines is the market-leading service for the preparation of legal bundles and electronic presentation in the court room.

It is also undertaking research for industry clients, the public sector and the academic community, to explore and better understand the impact of legal technology, and developing technological innovations through partnership with stakeholders in order to capitalise on the benefits of tech-enabled practice. There are similar centres already in the US.

The Legal Innovation Centre welcomes opportunities for collaboration, partnership and knowledge-exchange, and looks forward to working with partners to realise the benefits of technology in enhancing the work of the legal services profession and promoting access to justice.

First Minister, the Rt. Hon. Arlene Foster and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness today provided details of their plans to construct high quality office accommodation for Ebrington.

invest in derryFirst Minister, the Rt. Hon. Arlene Foster and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness today provided details of their plans to construct high quality office accommodation for Ebrington. The Department of Finance approved the Executive Office business case for the development of modern, high quality, high specification, Grade A office accommodation on Ebrington.

The new 62,000 sq ft office which the Executive Office is backing by investing up to £5 million will be built above the existing underground car park on Ebrington on what is already established as a landmark site for the City. First Minister, Arlene Foster said: “This is a great opportunity for the Northern Ireland Executive to provide practical support for the business community and the North West. Developing high specification office space on a key site in Londonderry will allow potential investors to now consider the North West as a viable option. We want to create more and better jobs for the people of Northern Ireland and we must ensure the correct infrastructure is in place.


An artist's impression of what the office space could look like.

An artist’s impression of what the office space could look like.

The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “This new Grade ‘A’ office space which could cater for up to 500 people will enable the Ebrington site to become an economic hub for job creation and economic generation. “The new premium office space will not only create and sustain jobs in the construction phase but is an incentive for potential investors to locate here. Quality accommodation will help us in our drive to attract investment to the North West and creating a ‘pro-business’ environment and jobs for our people.”

Source: The Executive Office News