In Your Space Circus (IYSC) is bringing its flagship Circus, Arts and Music Festival, Carnival of Colours to the City Centre for the 14th edition of one of Derry’s favourite headline events. Carnival of Colours, which usually takes place in St Columb’s Park, has up-rooted and relocated to Derry’s stunning City Centre. Taking place on the 4th and 5th September, the programme for the weekend will be jam-packed with circus-themed treats featuring the very best of International Street Theatre, IYSC’s own walkabout characters, workshops in circus and roller-skating, graffiti arts demos, portrait painting, music right across the city and much, much more! The headline shows will include acrobatics, juggling, diabolo, clowning, comedy, physical theatre and some crazy dance moves thrown in for good measure! Acts will include Mimbre (all-female acrobatic troupe), Nakupelle (world renowned clown), Jitterbug Jackson (Master of all things circus) and Tumble Circus (acrobats who achieve near impossible feats of gravity!).

Carnival of Colours, 4th – 5th September, Derry/Londonderry City Centre

Incredible local artists will also be showcasing their talents and bringing a weekend of pure joy to the people of the North-West and visitors to the City! Tying in with the Cathedral Quarter Weekend event, we will be breathing life into the Cathedral Quarter area of the City with a stage located at Society Street Carpark, and walkabout characters entertaining those who will be roaming the traffic-free streets around St Columb’s Cathedral.

Lots of other activity will be taking place in the area including ‘Sounds of the City’ a music and performance trail featuring the best of the best local musicians, programmed by Music Capital. Carny Corner, in the Garden of Reflection, will immerse you in the world of circus with IYSC Youth Circus shows, circus skills workshops, portrait painting and screen printing at the Derry Print Workshop.

The Festival attracts people of all ages from right across the Derry-Londonderry area and visitors to the city; it brings people together from all walks of life for a shared cultural experience. It also highlights Derry City as an exciting, beautiful and progressive destination for events and arts activity.  Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said: “We are delighted to be working with In Your Space Circus on delivering the fantastic Carnival of Colours.”The Carnival puts smiles on lots of faces and adds such a fun, upbeat atmosphere to our city centre as we slowly return back to normal life. “There are loads of elements to the Carnival of Colours so there will be plenty of entertainment for both kids and adults alike. I would really encourage everyone to visit the city centre, check it out and support our local businesses in the process! “In 2021 the Festival is supported by Tourism NI, Derry City and Strabane District Council, and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland. A number of local cafes and restaurants are also supporting the event by feeding and watering our artists and volunteers!  

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added, “It’s truly heart-warming to see the Carnival of Colours back for 2021, spreading amazement and joy across the city.  Once again the IYSC team have curated a fabulously fun programme with something to suit all tastes, from the very young, to the very young at heart!  I would encourage everyone to get outdoors this September and enjoy everything that this terrific celebration of circus has to offer.” IYSC is particularly proud to be bringing the Festival back to the city after an extremely challenging 18-months for the arts and events industry. The organisation and local artists, who rely on the Company for income, have suffered great losses due to the pandemic. All activity will be delivered in line with Covid guidelines and every precaution will be taken to keep audiences and participants safe.

Carnival of Colours is a showcase and celebration of In Your Space Circus’s year-round work including the Circus School and its street theatre and performance work delivered across Northern Ireland. Cath McBride, IYSC’s Company Director said: “We are thrilled to be back and at it this year. We have so greatly appreciated the support of our funders and the general public in helping us to recover and bring this unique event back to its audience. We aim to ensure that the 2021 Carnival of Colours is a celebration of the city, of our artists and participants, of circus, and of our wonderful audiences. We are confident that there is something in the programme for everyone and that it will give families a fabulous opportunity to spend some quality time together!”   

For the full Carnival of Colours programme visit: www.inyourspaceni.org/carnivalFor more information on events happening on 4th & 5th September, visit summernorthwest.com

Version 1, the global IT services company currently recruiting remote working staff in the North West, has teamed up with mental health charity Aware NI to help ensure that its employees are fully supported during COVID-19.     Invest Derry Strabane – which recently launched the Work Life Balanced campaign in association with Version 1, aimed at promoting the North West as a premium remote working destination – has welcomed the company’s initiatives which also include supporting the local community where their staff are based.  

Version 1 took the decision to support a mental health charity when the consequences of the pandemic became overwhelmingly apparent during the last 18 months. People were forced to adapt to significant lifestyle changes, such as working from home and limiting social interactions. This in turn led to an increase in people experiencing isolation, anxiety, stress, and grief at losing loved ones.   Additionally, the tech firm’s commitment to supporting the local community is a critical element of its core values. Community First is Version 1’s main Corporate Social Responsibility initiative and is driven locally by the employees. The aim of this scheme is to improve employment opportunities in communities by supporting awareness, education, and access by leveraging technology and skills.  

Community First is locally driven, enabling each Version 1 office to support causes they care about in their particular area. Some of the Community First initiatives include mentoring, helping local schools, grinds, tackling youth homelessness and community engagement.   Version 1 has also been officially recognised as a Healthy Place to Work. This was achieved by engaging employees in the completion of a robust survey covering four pillars – purpose, mental resilience, connection and physical health – which gathered insight into their experience of work. From the results, the company was able to put together a plan identifying paths to improvement, which subsequently led to the prestigious certification.   Lorna McAdoo, Director of Operations and Business Development NI at Version 1, said: “Our support for Aware NI stemmed from a wish to highlight the mental toll that the pandemic has been inflicting on so many people. The charity helps people realise that it is okay not to be okay, and this service has proved to be invaluable. We have also benefitted from online sessions held by Aware NI to help us all with various tools to use during this time to reinforce resilience and ensure we have been adapting well to the working from home model.   “We are also extremely proud of the visible efforts the company has made to reach out to local communities, and our Community First activities have enabled many people to access education and skills that drive employment opportunities.   “In addition, Version 1’s recognition as a Healthy Place to Work in Northern Ireland was a significant milestone for our company.

Being spread across five countries presents its own set of challenges and it has been absolutely critical to ensure our employees are happy and healthy. We have been able to benchmark our progress through the data provided during the process and are now updating and creating initiatives and strategies across our operations to ensure our workforce is the healthiest it can be.”   Rosalind Young, Investment Manager at Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “Version 1’s approach to dealing with the impact of COVID-19 is exemplary. The company’s commitment to providing mental help and support is evident through their partnership with Aware NI, and their track record of maintaining a community-focused approach is also welcomed as they expand their workforce in the North West.   “I would also like to congratulate Version 1 on their official recognition as a Healthy Place to Work. With the company bringing many highly skilled new jobs to the Derry City and Strabane District Council area, we are delighted that their staff will benefit from our Work Life Balanced campaign.”  

For more information on the Version 1 roles available in the North West and to apply, visit the Invest DS jobs portal at www.investderrystrabane.com/worklife

Local Enterprise Office Donegal has launched a new technology accelerator to encourage start-ups in the county. Donegal – SCALE-X  is a programme unlike any other, built by investors for entrepreneurs. Applications are open to businesses anywhere in the world, once they demonstrate a commitment to growing their business from Donegal.

Donegal – SCALE–X is targeted at start-up entrepreneurs with the potential for fast growth in the ICT/Fintech, Health Sciences/Medical and other technology-based industries. The programme will have a particular focus on facilitating potential spin-outs from existing firms in the county and region, and on introducing participants to potential investment funds.

Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise Donegal, said: “Donegal SCALE-X focuses on giving participants a deep understanding of the metrics that can drive success, along with the skills to build financial models that stand up to investor scrutiny and industry engagement.

The programme will also provide mentorship from leaders in their field, who have already scaled businesses from Donegal – people like Gillian Doyle of Cerebreon – so participants will get valuable insights and advice on ways to adapt their business model as necessary”.

Adding to this, Brenda Hegarty, Assistant Head of Enterprise, said: “Donegal SCALE-X is seeking founders that have a unique insight into their industry, borne out of deep industry expertise or an evident passion for their space, as well as solutions that solve a distinct customer problem.

Ten teams will be selected to join the programme based on the scale of ambition of the founder/s, the potential market size of their chosen field, and, most importantly, the teams that can be helped the most by availing of the programme.

Every application will be reviewed and shortlisted candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis, so I would encourage anyone interested to get your application in before the deadline of midday on the 24th of May.”

Local Enterprise Office Donegal is working with Journey Partners to implement the Donegal – SCALE – X programme. Journey Partners works with corporates, funding bodies and startups to generate, evaluate and support the development of innovative growth concepts with a focus on early-stage companies to help them reach their first major milestones.

Visit the website to find out more and apply: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Donegal/SCALE-X/

The Derry City and Strabane District Council area has officially become the first Zero Waste City in the UK and Ireland.


The European designation sees the Council area join a network of communities across the continent sharing learning and experiences of reducing waste generation while improving recycling rates and the quality of the resources captured.

The new status comes amid a deepening collaboration with local campaigning group Zero Waste North West, and marks the latest stage of the City and District’s adoption of a Circular Economy/Zero Waste Strategy.

The Strategy aims to keep resources and products in use for as long as possible, extracting maximum value for the local economy, before recovering and regenerating them at the end of their life cycle.

For more on Council’s Waste and Recycling Services visit derrystrabane.com/recycling. Full details on Council’s Circular Economy strategy can be viewed at derrystrabane.com/circulareconomy.

A new ‘Destination Derry’ network has been developed to promote the city and county as a great place to live, work, invest and visit.

The initiative, created by homebuilder Taggart Homes, aims to showcase the real people behind the businesses and brands and to collaborate with the local business community, government agencies, industries, educators and community leaders.

The Destination Derry website includes business information and contact details, a blog section, and Live, Learn, Work and Visit sections.

It will also be promoted on social media channels to a local and international audience.

www.destinationderry.com

An exciting programme of online activities and entertainment has been launched for Derry Halloween 2020.

While this year’s event won’t see thousands of revellers flocking to the city as usual, local people at home and abroad are being urged to get involved in the virtual celebrations and keep the spirit of the festival alive.

The digital line-up (available at derryhalloween.com/highlights) includes Little Horrors storytelling, Samhain Sessions gigs, and online tutorials in everything from costume-creating to lantern-making. The North West Carnival Initiative – the team behind the annual parade – will also be working with the local community on a series of activities.

And it wouldn’t be Derry Halloween without fancy dress – so wherever you are in the world, get creative and share your costumes on social media using the hashtag #derryhalloween

Derry City and Strabane District Council has this week launched a range of initiatives designed to support local businesses affected by the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. With new regulations that will see the closure of many local businesses coming into force today, Council is encouraging local companies to explore their options in terms of establishing an online presence and adapting to conditions as best they can to continue the delivery of products and services.

As well as a special Business Resilience Programme, a series of remote skills development workshops has been announced to give people the support and information they need. The series will comprise of 8-10 two hour workshops to be delivered remotely via Zoom, which will be open to all members of the business community in the City and District including past and present participants of the Business Boost Programme.

Focus areas include managing stress, gearing up to sell on YouTube, the impact of COVID19 on local business, and good leadership.Companies can also apply for a place on the Business Online Programme, part of the highly successful Business Boost Programme, now open to micro enterprises and SMEs across Derry and Strabane.

The programme will assist local companies in going digital. Keeping in mind the challenges presented by the current restrictions around social distancing in the workplace it’s more important than ever that businesses establish an effective online presence for both staff and customers. This programme will also be delivered remotely and safely, using all modern technologies.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, urged companies to sign up.

While I welcome these new restrictions on people’s movements, I appreciate that this will have a serious impact on local companies and their ability to do business,” she stressed.”As a Council we are putting in place as many measures as we can to support local businesses at this very difficult time. This new series of workshops will provide the latest information on digital technology and how businesses can take their products and services online and support staff working from home. I would really encourage businesses to find out more about what help is available.

Business Support Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Louise Breslin, said:

“With social distancing being a key factor for everyone – your staff, your customers and your suppliers – it’s vitally important that businesses introduce new ways of working.”These are uncertain times and we want to help businesses adapt in whatever ways they can, and both the workshops and the mentoring opportunities will provide the advice and expertise to help local companies get up and running online as quickly as possible.”

To register, simply contact Jacqui at Full Circle – jacqui@fullcircle.eu.com to express your interest in the workshops. The deadline for submission of expressions of interest is Thursday 9 April @ 12noon.

The Programmes are part-funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Jobs and Growth [2014 – 2020] Programme.Ends​

With local businesses facing uncertain times in the coming weeks and months, Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business Support Team have been working on a special Resilience Programme to help local companies to continue to grow and develop.With COVID19 already having a significant impact on the business world, the programme includes a series of workshops and mentoring opportunities geared towards equipping businesses with the skills and resolve to adapt to the challenges ahead.The Business Resilience Programme is open initially to 15 local companies and will be delivered remotely and safely, using all modern technologies. This will allow businesses to participate fully, whether working from home or from workplaces.

The Programme is part-funded by Council, Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Jobs and Growth [2014 – 2020] Programme.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, encouraged local companies to avail of the support at this challenging time. “Although there is thankfully some financial support now in place for local businesses, many will still face a very difficult time in terms of continuing with the provision of regular products and services.”There are some ways to mitigate against the impacts and Council aim to help where possible in assisting businesses navigate their way around these challenges. It’s so important that we all work together to protect and sustain the NW economy as best we can, and prioritise the small local companies who may be struggling at this very uncertain time.”

The programme will link companies with one one of Council’s dedicated Business advisors to assess the current positioning of their business as a result of the Covid19 situation. This initial assessment will be followed by four remote workshops; Building personal resilience in tough times; Leading others in crisis situations; Looking after your mental health; Managing time and managing projects.Afer this participants can avail of mentoring support to help apply the key learning points to individual companies.Council’s

Business Development Manager, Louise Breslin, said: “These are unprecedented times and naturally many within the business community are daunted by the prospect of an uncertain future – that includes both the young and the experienced, the struggling and the successful.”We want to help build and encourage the mindset that will be needed to adapt and survive, to consolidate and grow. This will demand emotional resolve, a willingness to think outside the box, and  openness to re-invention, innovation and diversification. We want businesses to build on their resilience, seriously consider the options that are realistically open to them and ultimately make firm decisions about the way forward.”We are here to help in whatever way we can, and I would really encourage local enterprises to find out how they could benefit.”


Eligible businesses must be based in the Derry City and Strabane District Council areas and employ less than 50 people.To register, simply contact Jacqui at Full Circle – jacqui@fullcircle.eu.com to express your interest in the Programme. The deadline for submission of expressions of interest is Thursday April 9 @ 12noon

Gallagher and McKinney Limited has built a new manufacturing facility at Skeoge Industrial Park, and is creating 14 new jobs.

The Derry mechanical engineering and piping firm provides contractor and sub-contractor project management on piping projects, which include the manufacture and installation of steel work support systems.

“We have ambitious plans for the business with a focus on key sectors including pharmaceutical, waste to energy and data centres in both GB and Europe. This investment in both our new facility and new people places Gallagher & McKinney in a strong position to deliver against these plans”  (Seamus Mellon, Managing Director of Gallagher and McKinney)

Pictured (L-R) are Seamus Mellon, Managing Director, Gallagher and McKinney with Bill Montgomery, Director of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Invest NI.

Welcoming the company’s latest investment, Bill Montgomery, Director of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering said: “The company bought its first one acre site on our Skeoge Industrial Park in 2017, with the option to further expand onto an adjacent three acre site, which it has now done.

“The new manufacturing facility has now been built and includes a new 10,000 ft stainless steel pipe fabrication workshop and a 2-acre laydown area. This will significantly increase the company’s capacity to bring more work in house and secure larger projects to meet the growing needs of clients.”

In addition, the company is expanding its workforce with 14 new jobs. The company is keen to build internal digital expertise with BIM/CAD operatives and junior engineers, along with skilled fitters and welders. It is also committed to investing in its apprentice training scheme with five new apprentices being hired each year.

Seamus Mellon, Managing Director at Gallagher and McKinney said:

“Historically we have worked as a sub-contractor on large piping projects but we have recently acted as principal contractor on substantial projects with Seagate Technology and are now looking to build on this element of our business. Investing in our team is crucial to our strategy to grow our business and bid for larger contracts and we are grateful for Invest NI’s support to recruit and get these positions in place quickly. “We have ambitious plans for the business with a focus on key sectors including pharmaceutical, waste to energy and data centres in both GB and Europe. This investment in both our new facility and new people places Gallagher & McKinney in a strong position to deliver against these plans.” (Seamus Mellon, Managing Director of Gallagher and McKinney)

Northern Ireland’s largest IT company Allstate has opened a state-of-the-art computing lab at Ulster University’s Magee campus, representing a major investment in educational resources for the North West.  

The new lab, based in the university’s School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems at Magee, is a boost to the core teaching competencies in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Information Technologies, Electronics and Embedded Systems, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Renewable Energy Engineering.

The lab is an extension of the longstanding partnership between Allstate and Ulster University, which recognises the importance of developing professional and educational links while attracting next-generation IT talent to Allstate.

Professor Liam Maguire, Executive Dean at Ulster University said the new lab “demonstrates a strong commitment to providing professionally relevant education which will help our graduates to secure employment in the highly skilled Computing and Engineering sector”.

He added: “Our School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems has developed strong industry links in both teaching and research and this lab will enable us to enhance our industrial input across courses and research which make a tangible difference to the Northern Ireland economy.”