On September 10th Derry City and Strabane District Council hosted a high level Derry~Londonderry City Region Economic Summit focusing on the work being done to develop business, education and investment links between Derry and London.

The Derry~Londonderry City Region Economic Summit hosted by the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle, and attended by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman along with senior representatives from the City of London Corporation and The Honourable Irish Society.

The Summit took place at a number of venues across the city and involved stakeholders from the business, education, investment and industry sectors discussing the positive collaborative work being done with the City of London to promote Derry~Londonderry as a great place to do business.

Organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Derry~Londonderry City Region Economic Summit had been organised following a series of engagements and visits between the two cities over the past number of months.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr John Boyle said purpose of the Economic Summit is to deliver the key objectives set out in the Strategic Growth Plan and the opportunities that exist to build and deepen regional engagement between the City of London and Derry City and Strabane District Council.

He said: “Just last month I welcomed senior representatives from the City of London and The Honourable Irish Society where they received an update on the city’s bid for a City Deal and the work being done by the Council and its partners to further develop the existing strong links between Derry and the City London.

“This high level Economic Summit will look at the benefits of doing business in the North West and the opportunities that exist in the City of London for businesses in the North West. The event will highlight the City Region’s key strength’s focussing on the work that is being done through our Education and Skills Delivery Partnership. A key element of the Summit will be the focus on existing industry and the important role they play to the economic growth and productivity to the Northern Ireland and wider UK economy and how we can look at new ways of collaborating and working creatively with the City of London,” he said,

Mayor Boyle added that the common synergy and connectivity between Derry~Londonderry and the City of London is huge significant.

“The City of London is a global leader in areas such as the Financial Services sector. My hope is that recent investments such as that being made by Fintru and the creation of 305 new jobs is a shining example of the opportunities that exist in developing a sustainable relationship with the City of London.

We have a shared history and heritage that can be leveraged into something stronger. Our strong economic history dates back over 400 years to the Plantation of Ulster and in recent years the two cities have worked closely to promote our connectivity and linkages. We intend to build on this so we can improve our economic relationship by working closely with businesses, investors and education providers for the mutual benefit of both cities.”

For further Information http://www.derrystrabane.com/Council/News/High-level-City-Region-Economic-Summit-to-forge-li

A high-level inward investment team from the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia visited Derry, Strabane and Inishowen in October as part of a visit to Northern Ireland.

During their visit to the North West the group met with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Boyle, and visited a number of local businesses, including E&I Engineering in Burnfoot.

They also spent some time at the North West Regional College and the Ulster University Magee campuses to see at first hand the region’s entrepreneurship and innovation and skilled workforce.

The delegation also attended a business engagement lunch with the Chamber of Commerce and met with international investors and local business representatives who are interested in doing business in the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia areas, as well as local companies such as Fleming Agri and Marblehill, who already export to the US.

The visit was just weeks ahead of a forthcoming trade mission to Boston/Philadelphia, which will saw companies from Derry, Strabane and Donegal travelling to the US along with representatives from Derry City and Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council, the Local Enterprise Office, North West Regional College and LYIT.

Among the representatives who visited the city this week from the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia were Mr David Briel (Executive Director, Centre for Direct Investment, Pennsylvania); Mr Richard Kilner (Office of International Business Development, Center for Direct Investment, Pennsylvania); Mrs Sylvie Gallier Howard (First Deputy Commerce Director, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia) and Mr Vaughn Ross (Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Philadelphia).

Mayor Boyle said: “They were very impressed with our offering and how well placed we are in terms of offering cost competitive business opportunities along with high level digital connectivity and a young and well educated workforce.

“They were very keen to further explore the existing trade and export relationships that exist with companies from the North West region and Philadelphia, as well as the wider State of Pennsylvania. We are starting to see the benefits of this joined up and positive approach to establishing strong economic development links and initiatives between the US and the North West region. Our relationship is very strong and there is a real eagerness to develop our relationship further.”

For further Information  http://www.derrydaily.net/2018/10/23/mayor-welcomes-high-level-us-delegation-to-north-west/

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

Fleming Agri to create 34 new jobs in the North West

Londonderry based manufacturer, Fleming Agri Products has announced it is making a £4 million investment and creating 34 new jobs in the North West.

The company is a leading manufacturer of agricultural and ground maintenance machinery. Making the announcement, George Fleming, Chairman of Fleming Agri-Products said:“This £4million investment will help us to meet our strategic growth plans and boost sales in external markets.

“Over the past few years, we have developed new products which have helped to significantly improve our sales performance. With this new investment and the addition of 34 new staff, we hope to break into new markets, including the US and expand our existing sales in Europe.y

“Our main goal is to increase sales in external markets and put in place the necessary resources and infrastructure to enable us to service the increased demand for our products. This investment is a major commitment to the North West region and to our existing staff to help us build long-term sustainability and we look forward to welcoming new people on board to help us drive the future of our business.”

Invest NI has offered the company £220,000 of support towards the new roles which include Production Operatives, Sales Executives and Managers. The 34 staff will be in place by 2020, with 15 of the roles already in place.

Des Gartland, Executive Director for Regional Business, Invest NI said:“Fleming Agri Products is a highly regarded business in the North West area with a strong brand reputation. We have offered Fleming Agri wide ranging support over the last number of years, helping the company improve its performance and strengthen its business.

Pictured (L-R) are Des Gartland, Executive Director for Regional Business, Invest NI and George Fleming, Chairman of Fleming Agri-Products.

Pictured (L-R) are Des Gartland, Executive Director for Regional Business, Invest NI and George Fleming, Chairman of Fleming Agri-Products.

“The company’s pragmatic approach has proven extremely successful and it is great to see an indigenous company reinvesting in the local area. The new jobs being created will generate over £700,000 in additional annual salaries for the Northern Ireland economy which is a great boost for the Derry City & Strabane District Council area.”

This £4million investment will help us to meet our strategic growth plans and boost sales

Derry based online learning firm expands into Scotland

Londonderry-based firm Learning Pool has confirmed the acquisition of Scottish company MediaCorp for an undisclosed sum.The e-learning business, which employs 140 people in Derry, Belfast and Nottingham, will now incorporate 12 new members of staff at MediaCorp’s Hamilton office.

Paul McElvaney (left) of Learning Pool with MediaCorp’s James Marshall

Paul McElvaney (left) of Learning Pool with MediaCorp’s James Marshall

The Scottish online learning and e-portfolio provider was founded and is still run by James Marshall.

Learning Pool said that the move would strengthen the company’s footprint in Scotland and increase its presence in the manufacturing market, which it considers key to expanding its product offering.

In its latest accounts, Learning Pool reported turnover of £7.6m and pre-tax profits of £2.3m for the year ending April 2017.

Co-founder Paul McElvaney said the acquisition would push its user numbers past two million.

The takeover sees Learning Pool enter the apprenticeship training market, availing of the Scottish firm’s services, which help companies manage qualification and apprenticeship programmes.

Mr McElvaney added: “It’s a significant acquisition for us.

“It gets us past 550 customers and two million learners on our platform. Plus, the acquisition opens up the apprenticeship market, which in Great Britain is an exciting market and something a lot of our customers are interested in.”

He said his company was on course to grow by 20% in 2018, with further acquisitions in the pipeline.

“The business plan for Learning Pool is very much focused on growth,” he added.

“We intend to grow by 20% organically this year and we have a pipeline for acquisition that is pretty interesting, but there is nothing imminent.

“The next six months is about us bedding in the MediaCorp team and about integrating as a team.

“We’re delighted to welcome James and the MediaCorp team into Learning Pool.

“We’ve been impressed by what they have achieved and I’m delighted to be working with an extended team in Scotland who share our passion for customer service and creating positive business impact.

“The apprenticeship market is clearly a growth area and many of our customers are looking for solutions to help manage the complexity of delivering apprenticeship programmes.”

It is the latest acquisition for Learning Pool.

The company bought over Mind Click in Nottingham two years ago.

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 “

MANUFACTURING LOCALLY, SELLING GLOBALLY CREATES MORE JOBS AT FLEMING AGRI

Fleming Agri Products is a fifth generation family business manufacturing a range of agricultural and grounds-care machinery at their factory in Newbuildings. With almost 90% of production exported outside Northern Ireland, the company see a solid future in the viability of engineering and manufacturing in the North West region.

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Approximately 12,000 machines came off the production line in 2017 and were shipped to an extensive network of dealers and importers worldwide. Fleming’s have put a dedicated Export Manager in place in 2016 and have been growing and developing new export markets in France,
Denmark, Latvia, Spain, Slovakia, UAE, Australia, New Zealand, and most recently the USA and Russia.

The Fleming factory has been operating a two shift pattern up to the start of 2018, but
due to increased demand from both the domestic and export markets for Fleming products, the workforce has had to be increased to create a third shift. This has created 10 further new job roles initially with further growth in employment as this new shift develops and increases the production output.

Plans for a new 25,000 sq. ft. factory extension are currently being put together to
streamline the production flow and create capacity and capability for new products
designed and developed in recent years to come online. Currently Fleming’s employ 110 staff and the proposed new expansion will create a further 25 new positions at their base in Newbuildings.
For further details and employment opportunities with Fleming Agri Products please see; www.fleming-agri.co.uk

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.

Local designers to showcase during London Fashion Week.

Local Designers attending London Fashion Week

Local Designers attending London Fashion Week

Ten ‘up and coming’ local designers will get a unique opportunity to showcase their collections to an audience of global fashion experts and international press at an exclusive exhibitor event during London Fashion Week next month.

The ten local designers who have been selected to travel to London in mid-February – known as the Derry Design Collective – follows a special ‘pitching’ event held last week at the Fashion & Textile Design Centre on Shipquay Street.

A total of 15 designers put forward their ‘perfect pitch’ to judges – including John Paul Doherty of John Paul Couture and industry specialist Jenny Holloway, CEO of renowned Fashion Enter London (FEL).

Derry City and Strabane District Council, in partnership with the Fashion & Textile Design Centre and Fashion Enter London held the ‘pitching’ competition as part of the Designer Business Start Up Programme – which supports emerging designers and helps to take them commercially to market through a series of workshops led by industry experts.

The bespoke scheme – which is also sponsored by Invest NI – draws on the expertise of Jenny Holloway to disseminate ‘best practice’ – ensuring local designers are empowered and provided with essential skills training, knowledge and the tools to develop their businesses effectively and efficiently.

Helen Quigley, Chief Executive of the Inner City Trust, said that the opportunity being created for our local designers is the culmination of the partnership working that has taken place in the Fashion & Textile Design Centre over the last number of years. This work has combined significant support from the team at the Inner City Trust, Derry City & Strabane District Council, Invest NI and Fashion Enter, and represents a commitment in presenting our local talent in a global setting.

Danielle McNally, Business Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “I am delighted that the ten winners will be able to avail of this incredible opportunity – and will benefit from the hands-on experience, technical training and professional mentoring from Fashion Enter London.

“Council is delighted to be working with the renowned Fashion Enter team on this fantastic initiative, providing unique opportunities for our emerging designers to work with leading industry experts to commercialise their design talents.

“We have a wealth of local design talent, and ultimately this programme will provide the tools and the opportunities required to support designers in making their fashion or textile business a reality.

“Indeed, this programme aims to give emerging local designers an invaluable profile boost by presenting them to an international audience during one of the most important weeks of the fashion calendar.”

Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager with the Fashion and Textile Design Centre and Inner City Trust, added: “I would like to pay tribute to the strength and diversity of all the local designers who took part in the ‘pitching’ event.

“I was hugely impressed by the diversity and innovation of the local designers who are such creative and talented people representing both quality and variety in the fashion and textiles sector.

“It is clear from the outstanding talent displayed at the pitching sessions that our region – as in the past with our world famous shirt industry heritage – is continuing to produce young and emerging talent whose imagination and quality of design is key to a successful future in the global fashion industry.

“This will be a fantastic opportunity for the winning designers from the Derry & Strabane district to showcase their Autumn/Winter 2018 collections during London Fashion Week at the Fashion Enter premises in London.

“It will also provide opportunities for the ten local designers to engage with the UK fashion industry and build international connections.

“I am therefore delighted that they will avail of this unique opportunity to present their collections outside of local markets to an international audience.”

For further information on the Designer Business Start Up Programme visit http://www.derrystrabane.com/Designer-Start-Up-Programme