Technical fire engineering services specialist, Joule Group is winning new business in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar following R&D investment. The new contracts are being delivered by the team in Northern Ireland, creating 16 new jobs at its Londonderry headquarters.

The company offers consultancy expertise on fire engineering design, construction and operational processes. Its digital technology platform, Total Fire Solutions (TFS), improves fire safety in buildings such as airports, hotels, retail and sports venues.

It has recently secured fire engineering consultancy services on two major infrastructure projects with a stadium project in Doha and airport development in the UAE. These are multi-year deals for complex engineering projects.

The company already has a portfolio of prestigious projects across 10 different countries from Europe to Middle East and North Africa. This includes working on 10 of the signature super high rise towers in King Abdullah Financial District in Saudi Arabia which will host the G20 Summit in 2020.

John Noone, co-founder and director of Joule Group, said: “We are striving to create a safer world through our transformational technology and are committed to digital fire safety globally. The continual support we have received from Invest NI has been invaluable to the growth of our business.

“By undertaking R&D we have been able to develop our TFS product and secure innovative export deals with globally renowned companies. Business is developing rapidly so we have created a specialist team in the North West to focus on growing in international markets.”

Invest Northern Ireland has offered the company support of over £200,000 to innovate through R&D and to expand its workforce, as well as support towards export market visits. Job opportunities at the company include software engineers, fire engineers, a business support manager and business director. Recruitment is underway, with seven of the 16 roles in place.

Des Gartland, North West Regional Office Manager, Invest NI, said: “Joule Group is a perfect example of how, when a business invests in R&D and in exploring new export markets, it can grow its business and lead to new job creation.

“Our support, both financial and advisory, has helped the company to reach its full potential and we are delighted to see the team grow here. The company’s specialist expertise in the fire engineering sector is already delivering success in international markets, and we look forward to seeing them continue their growth.”

Joule Group’s innovation has been recognised nationally with the Disruptor of the Year award at the Ulster Bank Great British & Northern Irish Entrepreneur Awards 2019.

The company also has offices in Belfast, London, Doha and Dubai.

A high-level delegation from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development has visited the North West to engage with local companies ahead of a trade mission to the US.

During the trip, the representatives met with local businesses and visited Ulster University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and CoLab to explore the opportunities for partnership with education and business centres in the US.

The visit comes just weeks before a trade delegation from Derry, Strabane and Donegal travels to Boston and Philadelphia.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Michaela Boyle said she was delighted to showcase the city and region for investment and collaborative working.

She added: “The delegates were very impressed with our offering and how well placed we are in terms of offering cost competitive business opportunities in a cross border location, along with high level digital connectivity with a skilled and talented workforce pool.”

John Kelpie, Chief Executive with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said the work being done by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council and its partners to promote the City Region for investment was beginning to gain momentum.

“We are really seeing the benefits of this joined up and positive approach to establish strong economic development links and initiatives between the US and the North West region,” he added.

“The visit by this delegation puts us in a really positive position ahead of our trade mission planned for November.”

Seamus Neely, Donegal County Council Chief Executive said there would be a strong emphasis during the upcoming trade mission on promoting the region’s strategic cross border location to the US market.

“We will also be showcasing our talent, skills and entrepreneurship along with our strong ICT strengths, well established eco system and quality of life,” he said.

The North West City region trade delegation will build on the work done over the past number of years to build strong political, economic and cultural links and to reach out to the diaspora. Key to the visit is the inclusion of local companies to promote the region as an attractive investment proposition and to develop new market and network opportunities.

For more information, visit www.IrelandNW.com #IrelandNW19.

Foyle Port has announced a new record turnover of £10million, with
an operating profit of £1.9million for the 2018/2019 financial year.

Despite uncertainties over Brexit and its effects, this marks the
Port’s seventh year of consecutive growth.

All profits will be reinvested to improve the business and upgrade
facilities.

Recent financial success has allowed the Port to undertake ambitious
capital investment in assets and infrastructure worth £3.5million, which
includes the purchase of a new harbour crane and expansion of the Port’s
landbank to 155 acres.

Foyle Port, which celebrates its 165th anniversary this
year, now employs more than 100 staff, with a payroll total of £4million per
year.

Foyle Port chair Bonnie Anley said: “Over the last year in
particular, there has been ever increasing anxiety about Brexit and its
impacts. Potential change and uncertainty, both locally and nationally has had
to be managed.

“We’ve risen to that challenge and are ready for the outcome of
Brexit in terms of a ‘deal’ or a ‘no deal’ scenario. As a commercial entity, we
have shown that we can be flexible and adapt to the new realities of the
business environment.”

Foyle Port chief executive Brian McGrath added: “We have a strong
balance sheet and are primed for future investment. We are one year ahead of
delivery in terms of our strategic plan, which will give us much need time
before setting the direction of travel for 2020 and the outcomes of Brexit.”

In addition to the Port’s core activity, it has seen growth in its
diversification programme such as the Port’s civil and structural engineering
division, Foyle Consulting Engineers.

Ireland North West drinks companies In Good Spirits for Philadelphia showcase:

Two North West companies are travelling to Philadelphia this week to take part in a prestigious Irish American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) Craft Drinks event.  

Locally based Baronscourt Brewing Company, and  The Muff Liquor Company from Donegal, will showcase their produce, connect with drinks distributors and business leaders with a view to expanding their networks into the Greater Philadelphia region.

The companies will travel along with representatives from Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal Local Enterprise Office, to participate in the prestigious “In Good Spirits” event, following an invitation from the Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia

The event is part of the strategic Ireland Northwest initiative between Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council and their partners to develop in-market support for local companies to help them build relationships to support the development of export opportunities.

The Councils have been working closely with the IACC and Pennsylvania Dept. of Community & Economic Development to promote the North West region and are delighted that Baronscourt and Muff Liquor can avail of the unique opportunity to further develop their exports into the US market.

The two local companies will be joined by Teeling Whiskey, Drioglann Local Measc Distillery, as well as distillers from Philadelphia.

The “In Good Spirits” event will feature a panel discussion and question and answer session moderated by Terese Waldron, Director of Graduate Food Marketing Program at Saint Joseph’s University. There will be drinks experts from  Pennsylvania and Irish industry taking part including, Eve-Anne McCarron, Donegal Local Enterprise Office, responsible for The Food Coast Initiative); John Teeling of Teeling Whiskey; Andrew Auwerda, President & Co-Founder of Philadelphia Distilling and John Cooper, Co-Founder of Mountain Laurel Spirits (Dad’s Hat Rye).

The panel discussion will be followed by a tasting session featuring Teeling WhiskeyBaronscourt Brewing Co.The Muff Liquor CompanyLough Mask DistilleryPowers Irish WhiskeyDad’s Hat Rye Whiskey, and Manatawny Still Works. The participants will get an opportunity to pitch their products and meet with industry experts who will assist the companies seeking market entry and develop local partnerships.

Welcoming Derry City and Strabane District Council’s participation in the event, Director of Business Stephen Gillespie said the visit is part of the Ireland Northwest’s strategic objectives, aimed at assisting local companies to internationalise their business, increase their business connections and exports.

A key element of this visit is that it aligns with the objectives set out in the recently launched Council food and drink strategy.  

“This is a great opportunity for Baronscourt Brewing Co. and Muff Liquor Company to showcase their products and further develop their links with drink distributors in the US. It’s a huge privilege for us to be invited to take part in this prestigious event and to be given a platform to promote the North West region as a food and drink destination. The event will be attended by a range of influencers in the drinks sector and our participation at this showcase is testament to the ongoing relationship we have developed with Philadelphia during our trade investment visits,” he said.

Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise with the Donegal Local Enterprise Office noted how this visit supports the wider efforts which they have been focused on through the Food Coast initiative and enterprise development goals. 

He said: “The Local Enterprise Office in Donegal has been leading out on The Food Coast iniaitiative project for over eight years now and before that we had the 315 Foods regional project covering counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Cavan. Our ultimate objective is to grow the number and the sustainability of artisan and added –value food manufacturers in Donegal.  To achieve this we have had to work with food businesses from across the sectors, from primary producers to manufacturers, food service firms to chefs and restaurants, as well as all the regional stakeholders”

“Over this period we have also worked with Derry City & Strabane District Council on a European food project. This event in Philadelphia is yet another opportunity for food and drinks firms from the northwest to raise the profile and awareness of what is happing with food in the region and we look forward to further opportunities being developed for our local firms through this engagement. “

Alanna M. Barry McCloskey, Business Manager and Marketing Coordinator with the Irish American Business Chamber and Network said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Irish American Business Chamber & Network, we are thrilled to welcome a delegation of Irish craft distillers and brewers and representatives from Derry City and Strabane and Donegal County Councils. Our visiting companies will meet with various Chamber members, local business leaders, and government representatives with the goal of expanding their networks and expanding into the Greater Philadelphia region.

“We are very much looking forward to introducing our visiting companies to the Irish Chamber membership at a special event, In Good Spirits: The Rise of Craft Distilling and Brewing in Pennsylvania and Ireland. This panel discussion and tasting session will feature both Irish and Pennsylvania companies and highlight the parallel track of the craft industries in Pennsylvania and Ireland.

“Throughout the Chamber’s 20 year history, we have welcomed delegations of Irish companies and government representatives to the Philadelphia Region. We actively work to promote the Island of Ireland in the Philadelphia region and conversely, highlight Philadelphia as a destination for Irish businesses, trade and investment.”

The delegation will depart to Philadelphia on Wednesday 15th May.

Further trade missions are scheduled to take place to both Boston and Philadlephia in November when both Councils will be supporting a range of local companies to assess their readiness to export and gear up to target and explore new business opportunities in export markets.

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.