Beacon Broadband is creating 12 jobs in Derry~Londonderry.
A new wireless broadband provider based in the North West, Beacon Broadband is creating 12 jobs in Derry~Londonderry to help it increase its export sales and position itself for future growth in the Republic of Ireland market.

Beacon Broadband delivers high speed wireless broadband to homes and businesses.

Des Gartland, Invest Northern Ireland’s North West Regional Manager welcomed the expansion during a visit to the company’s premises: “Beacon Broadband was established in 2016 to exploit a gap in the wireless broadband market created as a result of the increased popularity in media streaming. These new jobs are great news for the local area and our support is ensuring the company has the resources in place to win new business in its target markets.”

“Helping small businesses and entrepreneurs to compete and grow in export markets is a priority for Invest NI. We are confident that this is only the beginning for Beacon Broadband and we look forward to building on our relationship with the company in the coming years. ”

Invest Northern Ireland has offered the company £48,000 towards the creation of the new jobs. Roles to be created include installers, sales support staff, an office manager and a technical engineer.

Managing Director of Beacon Broadband, Brian McCourt said: “Our company ethos is built on providing strong customer service backed by the provision of guaranteed service speeds and uptime. Using the latest technology, we offer speeds that rival fibre broadband in areas that have little or no broadband access. This is making us a very attractive proposition to many consumers across both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.”

Pictured (L-R) are Brian McCourt, Beacon Broadband, and Des Gartland, Invest NI

Pictured (L-R) are Brian McCourt, Beacon Broadband, and Des Gartland, Invest NI

Wurkhouse to create 30 digital jobs in Derry

Alastair Hamilton (right), Invest NI, is pictured with Troy Armour, Wurkhouse.

Alastair Hamilton (right), Invest NI, is pictured with Troy Armour, Wurkhouse.

Londonderry based technology firm Wurkhouse is to create 30 digital marketing jobs as part of ambitious expansion plans to help it grow its export sales. Wurkhouse provides innovative marketing solutions to a wide range of clients based both locally and outside of Northern Ireland.

Welcoming the investment, Invest Northern Ireland’s Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton said: “Wurkhouse is a young and innovative business with high growth potential. The 30 jobs being created will contribute over £780,000 in additional annual salaries to the economy and offer excellent employment opportunities in the local area.

“The Creative Industries sector has been identified in Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Strategic Growth Plan as a priority sector for future economic growth and prosperity. Wurkhouse is a great example of a successful firm that is making a valuable contribution to that plan and providing local job opportunities for the talented workforce in the North West.

“We are delighted to support Wurkhouse in the next stage of its journey and to ensure it has the skills and knowledge necessary to exploit the substantial export opportunities it has identified, particularly in the GB and RoI markets.”

The new roles will include a range of designers, web developers, SEO and social media roles and will increase the company’s employment to 49 staff over the next three years.

In 2015, Wurkhouse received assistance from Invest NI of £24,000 to help with developing its design team.

Troy Armour, CEO of Wurkhouse said: “We are focused on becoming the leading digital agency in Northern Ireland through our export driven growth strategy. The advice and support we have received from Invest NI is helping us to scale quickly and has been vital to our ongoing growth and development.

“We play an integral role in the success of many of our clients and we believe that this success comes from our experienced staff and in-depth knowledge of the digital sector. We are confident that the North West region has the skills base we need to enhance our team, which will help us to achieve our ambitious plans for growth over the next three years and beyond.

“These jobs are for what we call ‘Creative Intelligents’. We seek two core attributes when hiring; intelligence and passion so we are looking for people with intelligence, who have a passion for what they do. This helps us deliver smart solutions for our clients and their passion is carried over into the delivery. It is like that old adage – cooking with love just makes the food taste better.”

A STRABANE-based manufacturer is set to double its workforce in an ambitious £7 million expansion.

Strabane-based Fabplus has announced it is planning to more than double its workforce and turnover. Darren McGavigan (left), Fabplus is pictured with Alastair Hamilton and Des Gartland, Invest NI

Strabane-based Fabplus has announced it is planning to more than double its workforce and turnover. Darren McGavigan (left), Fabplus is pictured with Alastair Hamilton and Des Gartland, Invest NI

Fabplus, which provides provides prefabricated pipework for use in fire sprinkler systems, is set to create 83 new jobs as part of a three-year plan to increase business both at home and abroad.

Recruitment is already underway to fill the new positions, which include management and production staff and the roles, set to be in place by 2019, will generate £1.7million annually in additional salaries, bring total employment at the firm to 138 people.

The major investment further includes expansion of the firm’s factory space storage and R&D facilities on Orchard Road as well as the development of an in-house powder coating and pipe optimisation capability and implementation of a staff training plan.

Fablus director Darren McGavigan said the ambitious expansion plan is being carried out with a view to competing in the global market.

“Extending the factory by 48,000 sq ft will increase our production capacity and improve factory workflow. Adding breadth and depth to the management team will also introduce additional expertise into the business while implementing our innovative new processes will consolidate our market leading position with new and existing customers.”

Invest NI has offered £786,000 towards the expansion, including £187,590 of R&D support, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton said the latest investment from Fabplus is a “significant boost” to the construction sector.

Fabplus is an established family business in Strabane which has experienced considerable growth over the last five years. The company has been working in partnership with Invest NI during this time and developed a strong competitive advantage in the UK marketplace.”

Fabplus wants to take advantage of growth opportunities in mainland Europe and Scandinavia and is utilising our help and expertise to invest in the resources, capabilities, training and R&D needed to help achieve its objective,” Mr Hamilton added.

The family business is a subsidiary of Mechanical Pipework Fabrication Limited (MPF), based in Lifford in the Republic of Ireland. Its equipment is installed in power stations, warehouses, retail buildings, hospitals, stadiums, apartment blocks and factories throughout Britain and the island of Ireland.

North West’s first ever Welding Academy Launched

Students attending North West Regional College’s Welding Academy, pictured with college staff and prospective employers.

Students attending North West Regional College’s Welding Academy, pictured with college staff and prospective employers.

A new academy has been launched by North West Regional College (NWRC) to tackle the chronic shortage of skilled welders in Northern Ireland. Run in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council, the new Fabrication and Welding Academy, which currently has 15 students, is a first for the North West and aims to address the challenges faced by employers in accessing skilled welders locally.

Nicola Curry, NWRC, explained that the Business Support Centre at the College engages with local businesses to enhance the skill levels of the existing workforce and encourage innovation.She said: “It became apparent from a number of discussions with local engineering companies, that there was a clear shortage of new welding talent coming through the education system. “The proposed academy will provide a short-term sustainable solution to support the immediate skills shortages, currently experienced in the North West, with regard to accessing skilled talent in Fabrication and Welding.”

George Fleming from Fleming Agri is one local employer who has found recruiting skilled welders challenging. He said: “I welcome the launch of this academy today which will ensure that local companies can access skilled welders locally. There has been a long tradition of engineering manufacturing in the North West with good growth and development in recent years from local indigenous companies creating a strong demand for welding and fabrication skills in the region. We are delighted with the NWRC support for this skills demand and the support from the DSDC.”

The aim of the academy is to encourage greater collaboration between education and industry and to provide a sustainable solution to the skills shortages constraining the growth of the engineering and manufacturing sectors in the region. The first students of the Fabrication and Welding Academy will take part in a 12 week intensive Level 2 City and Guilds programme which will include four weeks of paid placement. Placements will be with local employers Fleming Agri, Global Equipment Spares, Mim-Ni, Fabplus Limited, Foyle Port and GB Engineering. It’s anticipated that on completion of the programme successful participants of the Fabrication and Welding Academy will have the opportunity to be interviewed for live employment opportunities locally. North West Regional College also run short courses in Mig and Tig welding on a part time basis from their Springtown and Greystone campuses.

£12m Granny Annie’s investment in Derry


“Granny Annies,” the brand operated by W.&R. Holdings, has confirmed details of an estimated £12 million investment in Derry, the ‘Journal’ can reveal. Having purchased the former Wetherspoons and Ice Wharf pubs in the Diamond and Strand Road, the group has also secured the former Clarendon Bar, now to be renamed “The Tipsy Bird”, and the Belfray Country Inn Hotel, on the outskirts of the city. It’s understood £4 million is to be invested in the iconic landmark building in the Diamond in addition to the ongoing multi-million refurbishment at the former Clarendon Bar site on Lower Clarendon Street. The acquisition and refurbishment of the Belfray Country Inn Hotel and the Ice Wharf on Strand Road will bring the group’s total investment to approximately £12 million, making “Granny Annie’s” the largest pub and restaurant operator in the North West.

Commenting on the imminent opening of “Granny Annie’s” new Kitchen and Bar at the Diamond, the Group Area Manager, Andrew O’Doherty, said: “We are extremely excited about this particular landmark development which will lead to the creation of 80 new jobs for this prominent building which is steeped in rich history and has played an integral commercial role in the Diamond for many years.

The regeneration of this area follows hot on the heels of other recent developments such as Bishop’s Gate Hotel and The Shipquay Boutique Hotels at a time when many economic observers are delivering a bleak forecast. However, when other city centre outlets are seeing shutters coming down and hoarding going up, it appears that Derry’s city centre is determined to buck the trend which can only be good news. “We believe this new ‘Granny Annie’s’ Kitchen and Bar complex and the forthcoming ‘Tipsy Bird’ development, are important regeneration projects vital to Derry’s tourism economy. We want to provide the next generation of super pubs and ensure their customers receive a first-class service with a five-star experience including beverage, entertainment and food.”

MetaCompliance plans to double Derry~Londonderry workforce

Pictured (L – R) are Robert O’Brien, MetaCompliance, and Jeremy Fitch, Invest NI.

Pictured (L – R) are Robert O’Brien, MetaCompliance, and Jeremy Fitch, Invest NI.

North West based technology firm MetaCompliance is recruiting 69 new jobs over the next three years to help develop its worldwide sales and market presence. The company develops software and creative content for the cyber security sector and is aiming to triple its turnover by capitalising on the demand for cloud based cyber security products. To deliver on its objective, MetaCompliance is recruiting a combination of sales and IT roles to implement a new sales model targeting prospective customers across Europe and the US.

Welcoming the expansion, Invest Northern Ireland’s Executive Director of Business & Sector Development, Jeremy Fitch said: “MetaCompliance is one of our most innovative technology companies with a long standing commitment to the North West. The company has used a range of Invest NI support to enhance its competitiveness in the global marketplace which has included support for research and development, skills development and marketing. This new investment will support its global ambitions and create valuable employment opportunities in the Derry and Strabane District Council area. The 69 jobs being recruited at the company, 29 of which are already in place, will generate £1.7million annually in additional salaries into the local economy and will see the company triple its workforce over the next three years.”

The market opportunities are driven by the growing global threat from phishing and ransomware, as well as the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018 and the need for policy management solutions throughout all industries.

The company provides clients with cost-effective cloud first software which makes compliance easier for organisations governed by stringent legislative and regulatory requirements such as Data Protection, Privacy and Bribery laws. Invest NI has offered MetaCompliance £652,000 towards the creation of the new jobs.

Speaking about the expansion, Robert O’Brien, Chief Executive of MetaCompliance, said: “This is an exciting stage in our business’ growth, as we implement ambitious plans to double our workforce and triple our turnover. Invest NI’s ongoing support is central to the continued growth of our business. Invest NI’s ongoing support is central to the continued growth of our business and we are delighted with the progress of recruitment to date and also the calibre of talent available in the North West.

“Enhancing our market development team in Derry supports the targeted approach we plan to take to maximise the sales potential of our cyber security and compliance products. We are focused on expanding our customer base and will be working hard to engage prospective clients from both public sector and commercial industry throughout Europe and the US.”

The company’s product suite includes IT Governance, Risk and Compliance (IT GRC) solutions that enable organisations to automate, enforce and manage the key tasks associated with user awareness and employee engagement for information assurance. MetaCompliance’s recruitment drive will increase its workforce total to 102 by 2019. The company will be holding a recruitment day in City Hotel, Derry, on Friday 01 December between 09:00 and 17:00.

Dragon Brand Foods in bid to drive export growth with new investment: Strabane based food manufacturer, Dragon Brand Foods is investing over half a million in jobs, innovation and a new factory with the support of Invest Northern Ireland.

Pictured at the site of the new factory at Strabane Business Park are (L – R) Paul McGuigan, Dragon Brand Foods, and Des Gartland, Invest NI.

Pictured at the site of the new factory at Strabane Business Park are (L – R) Paul McGuigan, Dragon Brand Foods, and Des Gartland, Invest NI.

The company is due to begin construction on its new factory at Strabane Business Park as part of its plans to grow its business. The company is also creating four new roles and is using a Grant for R&D to develop a new range of Free From sauces, dips and condiments for the more health conscious consumer.

Making the announcement, Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Manager said:

Dragon Brand Foods is a highly ambitious and export focused business with innovation at its core. The company is using a range of Invest NI support to drive efficiencies which will enhance its competitiveness in the global marketplace. The company’s decision to build a new factory at Strabane Business Park is a significant commitment and has involved a lot of preparatory work. I am pleased we have been able to help the company through this process and I look forward to seeing their plans come to fruition.”

The company’s investment will see it build 7,500 square feet of manufacturing space at Strabane Business Park. Invest NI developed the park to help address the shortage of available industrial land in the district and play an important role in supporting economic development in the local area. “This investment marks the next step in the company’s journey to achieving faster export growth and reaffirms its continuing commitment to the Strabane area. I hope that this announcement will act as a catalyst for further investment into the Strabane area”, continued Des.

Dragon brand Foods is making a total investment of £550,000. Invest NI has offered the company support of £153,563 towards creating four new roles, researching and developing new products and help building food safety protocols to drive growth in the ROI market.

Commenting on the investment, Paul McGuigan, Director of Dragon Brand Foods said:

“Our strategy is to pursue growth through investing in new products and innovation. Invest NI is providing us with invaluable support which is helping to safeguard our future and accelerate the future growth of our business. Building work for our new factory has already commenced and we look forward to growing our workforce to help us deliver valuable new contracts, particularly in the UK and ROI markets.”

Strabane Business Park offers potential tenants over 15 acres of serviced industrial land to help meet their immediate business growth needs.

Kainos announces the creation of 15 new high-tech roles at its digital hub in Derry – Londonderry.
Kainos Group plc, a leading provider of digital services and platforms, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Derry base with the announcement that 15 high value jobs will be created.

Kainos Team at Derry ~ Londonderry Offices

Kainos Team at Derry ~ Londonderry Offices

With a current workforce of 27 people in Derry, this latest job creation initiative will result in an increase of more than 40% at the company’s Strand Road base.

This time, Kainos is looking to recruit consultants for its WorkSmart division – a role that involves advising global organisations such as Diageo on how to implement the Workday Inc. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Human Capital Management and Financials product. The role requires a unique mix of technical and consulting skills, so will offer a highly rewarding career for the right candidates. The role will also be very well remunerated, with a potential salary of up to £42,000 depending on experience, which benefits not only the individual but also the local economy.

CEO of Kainos Brendan Mooney said: “A Workday consultant performs a role that is different to the traditional software engineer in Kainos, and requires the ability to listen to others and to understand how to make digital systems meet their needs. It’s a really interesting and varied role, with a clearly defined career path. The success of our digital services is built on the strength of the relationship we have with our customers, and that’s what makes this role so important.”

Kainos, which employs 1,000 people in eight offices across Europe and the USA, opened its Derry office in 2012 as part of a £10m investment.

“We’re proud of our achievements in the North West since opening five years ago and plan further growth over the next 12 months. This recruitment drive will support our ambitious European expansion strategy,”

Courtesy of Kainos Plc

 Ciaran and Melanie Breslin from Primrose Cafe

Ciaran and Melanie Breslin from Primrose Cafe

Primrose cafe to create 40 new jobs in Londonderry.
The Primrose cafe group is to create 40 new jobs as part of a major expansion in Derry. The family-run business is due to open its new premises on the Strand Road at the end of October 2018.The roles will be a mixture of full and part-time, including chefs, waiting staff, baristas and bakers.

The first Primrose cafe was opened in 2012 with four staff. The company now employs 38 people across two locations at Carlisle Road and Atlantic Quay. The husband-and-wife team behind it, Ciaran and Melanie Breslin, said it was an exciting new development. “Primrose is our life and soul,” said Ciaran Breslin. “Everything revolves around Primrose, so to see the new premises coming together is so exciting for us. “We’re constantly trying to evolve the business and stay ahead of trends, so we’re confident this will be the start of something completely new for Derry.”

The Breslins also own butchers shops at Whitehouse retail park and Lisnagelvin shopping centre in the Waterside.
“Derry’s become a real food destination, and it’s wonderful to be part of that,” said Melanie Breslin.
“The Strand Road has been very derelict these past few years, and with the new hotel under construction and two new bars it’s great to see a bit of life coming back into the area.”

Primrose has been supported by the North West Regional College’s Foodovation centre, which nurtures and develops food businesses across Ireland. Its general manager, Brian McDermott, said it was one of the centre’s success stories. “Any jobs in the hospitality sector have to be welcomed, and this goes to show just how vibrant the food and drink industry is in Derry at the moment,” he said.

12 new jobs being created by Eglinton manufacturer Carella Laminate Systems.

Invest NI’s North West Regional Manager, Des Gartland (left) is pictured with Seamus Heron, Carella Laminate Systems.

Invest NI’s North West Regional Manager, Des Gartland (left) is pictured with Seamus Heron, Carella Laminate Systems.

Carella Laminate Systems is expanding its workforce in Londonderry to help secure new business in the interior fit-out markets across Great Britain and Republic of Ireland.

With support from Invest Northern Ireland, the manufacturer is recruiting 12 additional staff by 2019 and investing in all areas of the business including sales, production, management and service. The company has also expanded its facilities, recently developing bespoke premises in Campsie Industrial Estate.

Speaking about the plans, Managing Director Seamus Heron said: “We have seen a recent uplift in projects secured across Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland and want to continue to grow our market share, driving sales of our worktops and contract interior fit-out solutions. The bespoke site we developed at Campsie and our new machinery has enhanced our production capacity and improved the efficiency of our operations.
“The 12 additional staff we are recruiting with help from Invest NI will support the anticipated growth in workload. It will also give us the necessary capability within the team to tender for new higher value projects in our target markets.”

Carella Laminate Systems provides interior fit-out solutions for customers in the health, education and leisure sectors and also manufactures and supplies worktops and bonded boards for the kitchen and bedroom market.

Welcoming the investment, Bill Montgomery, Invest NI Director of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering said: “Carella has an ambitious strategy to grow sales in Great Britain by 70 per cent over the next three years and is focused on positioning itself to achieve this objective.

Invest NI’s support has already enabled the company to undertake research visits in its target markets, in a bid to establish new customer relationships. The £90,000 offered towards the 12 new jobs will ensure Carella has the resources its needs to avail of its identified business opportunities. The new roles will be recruited over the next two years and once in place will contribute £407,000 in additional salaries to the local economy.”