Carrickfergus business improvement programme extended

(from left) Kelli Bagchus, Carrickfergus Enterprise; Portia Woods, Clear Woods Consutlancy; Linda Williams,  director of Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council; Stephen Kincaid, Big Wet Fish;  Jim Brown, vice-chairman of Carrickfergus Enterprise; David McIlhagger, director of Carrickfergus Enterprise and Alison Brennan, Fools Haven Self Catering Cottage. INCT 18-790-CON
(from left) Kelli Bagchus, Carrickfergus Enterprise; Portia Woods, Clear Woods Consutlancy; Linda Williams, director of Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council; Stephen Kincaid, Big Wet Fish; Jim Brown, vice-chairman of Carrickfergus Enterprise; David McIlhagger, director of Carrickfergus Enterprise and Alison Brennan, Fools Haven Self Catering Cottage. INCT 18-790-CON

An initiative to encourage small business development in Carrickfergus has been extended for another year.

A large number of organisations recently attended the annual Celebration of Enterprise event hosted by Carrickfergus Enterprise. These included many who had accessed support through the Business Improvement Programme (BIP) funded by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Evie Hamilton on keyboards. INCT 18-794-CON

Evie Hamilton on keyboards. INCT 18-794-CON

Linda Williams, MEA Council’s director of Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “Council has recently approved a 12-month extension to the BIP programme that will help ensure vital business support continues to be provided across the borough and the Carrickfergus area in particular.

“Our strategic priority as a council is to grow the economy and clearly, encouraging enterprise is integral to this aim. In that way, Mid and East Antrim can continue to grow as a more prosperous place to live, work and invest in.”

Attendees at the celebration included McGrandles IT Solutions, Big Wet Fish, Away Days Self Catering and Fools Haven, as well as programme mentors and representatives from Carrickfergus Enterprise and the local government authority

Kelli Bagchus, manager of Carrickfergus Enterprise, said: “I look forward to the celebration event each year as it is really about celebrating local business success, developing new contacts and showcasing entrepreneurs.

“The event, in its 13th year, attracts great interest from the business sector and it’s great to see these businesses grow and prosper.”

The event marked the end of the 2015/16 programme. Participants over the last year have benefited from one to one mentoring in areas such as strategy development, marketing and taxation. A number received support under the ICT element to include website development and digital marketing. Seminars took place over the last 12 months, including financial management, tips on photography and branding and developing networks. Entertainment was provided by The Music Yard, which provides a range of music tuition and workshop services in guitar, drums and vocal.