Belfast Telegraph

Co Antrim enterprise centre helps clients create 224 roles during year

Emma Deighan

By Emma Deighan

An enterprise centre based in Co Antrim has said it's helped its clients create 224 jobs in 2019, giving the economy a £5m boost.

Local Economic Development Company (LEDCOM), which operates primarily in the Mid and East Antrim and Antrim and Newtownabbey council areas, revealed the figures at its AGM.

Its chair Dr Norman Apsley said the organisation supported thousands of business start-ups since it began in 1985, creating thousands of jobs.

He said: "This year there are 224 more people in employment through a mix of programmes, mentoring and targeted support.

"We have also helped support a further 942 individuals offering a better future to unemployed young people, the long-term unemployed and people with disabilities."

The directors' report referred to LEDCOM's "social and economic impact" with more than £400,000 poured into the wider social economy.

And it said that the organisation delivered support to 155 business and social enterprise start-ups.

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The AGM, at the company's headquarters at Willowbank Business Park in Larne, was followed by a business and community networking lunch - also attended by new Invest NI chief executive, Kevin Holland.

Dr Jim McIlroy, head of operations at Millicent Pharma, spoke about how a start-up pharmaceuticals company with global ambitions had set up in Larne, backed by one of the world's largest equity firms, the Carlyle Group.

Some of LEDCOM's work includes its delivery of the Co-Innovate Programme to support SMEs and micro-businesses to boost cross-border trade. It also provides mentoring and business support and delivers a range of initiatives that support community groups, young people and women.

It has 57 tenant businesses and 350 employment and training places at its business parks.

Belfast Telegraph