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£2m innovation centre to create hundreds of new jobs

A new £2m innovation centre which could create around 200 new jobs has been launched in Co Tyrone.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster led a sod-turning ceremony to begin the construction of the new Innovation Growth Centre at Omagh Enterprise Company.

The new complex will provide a technology focused business environment to support growth in companies and allow progression from the enterprise group's Technology Incubation & Resource Centre which was opened in 2005.

Minister Foster said that when completed, the facility will provide the region with a high quality, technology-focused workspace.

"Job creation and the stimulation of private enterprise are crucial in driving forward our economic recovery in Northern Ireland," she said.

"Projects like this, which create jobs, grow businesses and capitalise on our existing skills and infrastructure base in Northern Ireland, are particularly welcome. It is envisaged that the new centre will support the creation of at least 200 new jobs in Northern Ireland and the Republic."

Errol Thompson, chairman of Omagh District Council, added: "The commencement of the construction phase will create in the short term much needed construction work in Omagh, at a time when there are continued economic challenges facing our local community."

The centre is aimed at helping businesses based in the Omagh, Leitrim and Donegal areas.