Here’s a round–up of some of the GOOD news from Northern Ireland this week.
North West jobs boost
US packaging giant, Bemis Company Inc announced this week it will set up a European base in Londonderry. 95 new jobs are to be created over the next four years in IT, finance and other business services. Bemis who have operated a medical packaging plant in Northern Ireland (Campsie) since 1996 received £695,000 in government funding to assist with recruitment and training.
Marty Scaminaci, Bemis Company’s Vice President of Global Business Services said: “The availability of skilled graduates in the area, engagement of local council representatives, and the support offered from Invest NI were all critical factors in our decision to locate this centre in Northern Ireland.
“Recruitment for the new roles has begun and will continue over the next couple of years.”
Investment for Omagh–based firm
Omagh–based company, Telestack has invested £1.6m on a new 15,500 sq ft painting facility. Managing Director, Martin Dummigan said the investment was just the beginning, indicating further significant investment in the next 18 months, adding: “Central to our long–term growth strategy is the future–proofing of our facility so that we continue to provide an extensive range of world–class products.” Materials Handling firm, Telestack was founded in Omagh in 1999 and was acquired by US firm Astec for £20 in 2014.
Retail figures hit 14–year high
Retail activity in Northern Ireland outperformed the rest of the United Kingdom for the first time in years, according to the Ulster Bank Northern Ireland Purchasing Managers’ Index. The bank surveys hundreds of businesses and looks at a number of areas. Among the findings was a bumper year for retailers in Northern Ireland, the strongest in fourteen years while the manufacturing industry also finished 2016 stronger than it started.
Increase in Southern visitors
The number of tourists visiting Northern Ireland from the Republic increased by 10% according to figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). The number of overnight stays nudged up slightly by 1% which led to a total of 4.6m overnights from October 2015 until September 2016. Tourism NI Chief Executive is John McGrillen:
“Some £2.4m was spent by tourists every day during the first nine months of 2016, a period that saw the opening of the newly extended Belfast Waterfront and an outstanding summer for Titanic Belfast, the Causeway Coastal Route and many other tourism attractions across the country.”