"Over the past year Craigavon Borough Council through its Economic Development Unit has again delivered a first class programme of business support to local companies...
...These business support initiatives helped local companies to grow faster and to sustain their competitive advantage through activities which reduced costs, streamlined business processes, exploited new market opportunities and increased long term sustainability. This enabled over 160 local companies last year to identify new sales opportunities, source new products and develop or to implement new business systems and for some to either explore or enter new international markets. We will continue to support local business.
Detailed below is a selection of our local private sector companies who have recently participated on the following Council funded business development initiatives, and who continue to make such an important contribution to the economic growth and prosperity of the Borough...".
Darryn Causby, Chairperson of the Development Committee
Bright Idea Programme
Bright Idea is an innovative business start up programme for young people in Ards, Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Down and Newry and Mourne areas.
Life Sciences Programme
The Life Sciences programme seeks to facilitate the establishment of a cluster of SMEs / micro enterprises which have the capacity, capability and the confidence to service many of the needs of major life sciences companies in the area, thereby replacing products / services which are at present typically imported from other parts of the world.
This exciting new project to assist the growth of the Creative Industries has partners in Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Sweden.
The Plan is that via access to selling and income generation beyond local boundaries, and access to business supports to increase export and employment potential, the aim is to ensure creative goods and services are commercialised and monetised.
The 'Achieving Finance' Programme is an 18 month business development programme aimed at assisting SME's to identify their financial position, undertake an objective financial health check and examine what opportunities exist for financial support.
Making beneficial use of vacant properties in Lurgan and Portadown
Craigavons Product Transfer was shortlisted for 'Best European Project' award by NILGA at the Local Government awards on 23rd February.
The programme, delivered by Lestas Consulting, produced outstanding results for the 20 companies participating. Together they have safeguarded over 200 jobs and are employing 21 more people than this time in 2011 and have increased their turnover by more than £1 million.
New SME Development Programmes 2013-14
The Economic Development Unit will be offering places on each of the following new initiatives in 2013:
- Product Transfer Programme - Currently closed
- You Can Develop It - Open to applicants until 30th March 2013
- Creative Edge European Project - Started September 2012;
- Retail Capacity Building for NRA's - Started in June 2011 until June 2013
- Franchising Programme - Open to applicants August 2012
- Sustainable Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme - Workshops are continuing..
- Achieving Finance Programme - Open to applicants from Summer 2012
- Creative Industries Export Programme - Open to applicants from end of May 2013
- Craft Development Programme - Currently closed
- Life Science sector, company development - Started September 2012
- Digital Media, company development - Expecting to start late 2013