Archive for the 'Latest News' Category

Foster welcomes £3million investment and 65 jobs in Londonderry

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster hosted a special event in Londonderry to acknowledge the continued growth and investment by local businesses.

Seven Londonderry-based businesses are accumulatively creating 65 new jobs in the city and investing a total of £2.8million in the local economy.

Hunter Apparel, All Pipe Engineering, Fleming Agri-Products, Modern Democracy, Quinnspares, Steam and Generation Services and SmithDehn have each been working on growth projects with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Praising the commitment of the business owners, Arlene Foster said: “The investments being showcased here total almost £3million and include plans to create 65 new jobs across a range of roles and industries; from engineering and manufacturing to software development and sales and marketing. Once in place, the 65 new jobs will contribute over £1.3million annually in additional salaries to the local economy.

“The commitment being demonstrated by these local companies shows business confidence is improving throughout the area, meaning they are prepared to take advantage of the steadily improving economy. It is through a continued focus on innovation and export that local businesses will remain ahead of the competition, maximise growth and succeed in their chosen markets.

“This event also demonstrates the work being done to enhance the local economy here through collaboration and partnership between a number of stakeholders including local businesses, the council, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and Invest Northern Ireland. Invest Northern Ireland has been working hard with stakeholders to support local economic development and as a result in the past three years 1,009 jobs have been created in the Derry City & Strabane Council area. In addition, during 2013/14, 915 new jobs were promoted and will be created in the coming years, a 92% increase on the previous year.

“Looking ahead, Invest Northern Ireland continues to work closely with all stakeholders to support the success of the One Plan and has also committed to support the development of an Integrated Economic Strategy, co-funded with the local council, for the new council area.”

Foster hails Belleek’s WorldHost Village status

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has congratulated Belleek on becoming Northern Ireland’s first WorldHost Village.

The award is made to towns or villages where at least 25% of businesses have achieved WorldHost Recognition by delivering excellent customer service and which have trained 50% or more of their front-line staff using any of the WorldHost training programmes.

Welcoming the announcement, Arlene Foster said: “Businesses in Belleek have rightly recognised the importance of customer service in shaping visitors’ experiences. Their achievement in attaining WorldHost Village status, the first in Northern Ireland, is a fitting acknowledgement of a collective commitment to enhance service standards.

“The WorldHost programme rightly recognises the role that customer care plays to tourism in Northern Ireland. The impression left by customer-facing staff goes a long way to ensuring that our visitors enjoy the best possible experience whilst here, which in turn helps generate future recommendations, repeat business and continued growth.”

Fermanagh pro-actively promotes and supports the WorldHost customer service initiative and is the only destination in Northern Ireland to have a comprehensive plan in place for all of its towns and villages in a bid to gain WorldHost Destination status.

Arlene Foster added: “The customer service standards of businesses in Belleek have raised the bar for the tourism and hospitality sector throughout Northern Ireland and I would encourage other destinations to follow their example.”

Welcoming Belleek’s achievement, Chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Councillor Bert Johnston said: “Ensuring that visitors receive a warm and personal welcome when visiting our County will only serve to strengthen the tourism offering in Fermanagh. WorldHost customer service training is an opportunity for local businesses to learn more about best practice in customer service and also to improve staff skills.”

Rolled out in Northern Ireland by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board in partnership with the sector skills council, People 1st, and the Department for Employment and Learning, the World Host Programme helps businesses gain a competitive advantage by enhancing customer service skills. To date, over 14,000 participants trained and 604 companies registered with the World Host Programme.