Belfast Telegraph

Enterprise NI to fight bid loss

By Heather McGarrigle

Enterprise NI have confirmed they will "mount a robust challenge" to Invest NI's decision to award their new business start-up scheme to another provider.

Invest NI issued letters last Tuesday informing unsuccessful bidders of their intention to award the contract for the Business Start programme to a consortium including the Glasgow-based GO Group and the Northern Ireland offices of accountancy firm KPMG.

Chairman Sandy Smith issued a statement on behalf of the Enterprise NI board: "Having reviewed the evaluation process the board has taken legal advice.

"The board is proceeding to advise the Central Procurement Directorate of its intention to mount a robust challenge to the decision announced on September 6."

Enterprise NI has been the lead organisation for Invest NI's entrepreneurship programme for around two decades.

The loss of the contract prompted fears over jobs and concerns about the ability of the consortium to provide a localised service.