Ballymena Business Centre has launched its new Enterprise Strategy to further develop Ballymena as a thriving and vibrant economic area driven by innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Despite the recent global health pandemic Ballymena Business Centre has continued to make a strong contribution to enterprise, through working closely with a range of partnership organisations within the Borough which has resulted in the continuing growth of new business opportunities.
Chief executive, Melanie Christie Boyle MBE, explained; “As we emerge from the pandemic and as we embark on our new five-year Enterprise Strategy, we are confident that our portfolio of services and business space will help contribute to the continuing development of new businesses as well as the growth of established innovative businesses in the Ballymena area.
“This new Enterprise Strategy 2022 – 2026 will ensure that Ballymena Business Centre can continue to provide direction, focus and above all much needed encouragement to businesses within our local community.
“We currently help over 500 individuals and businesses each year through business support and business space. The last four years has also seen 400 entrepreneurs helped with their business idea, 25 businesses with innovation, and with the assistance of The Gallaher Trust, seed funding for start-ups to the value of £60,500 has been approved. This, along with, £90,720 of non-commercial value given by the Trustees and the Executive Team has seen a significant contribution by the business centre to the community.
“The strategy will allow tailored assistance to many more start-ups and ensure that others have access to business growth to meet their needs through the Centre’s long-established partnerships and community networks.”
Vice chairperson of Ballymena Business Centre’s board of directors, James Perry MBE DL, explained; “For over 30 years now the Ballymena Business Centre has been championing local entrepreneurs as positive role models and inspiration for others within Ballymena and beyond.
“With the launch of our new Enterprise Strategy, and as we look to the next five years, we will continue to grow our network of entrepreneurs to share knowledge and support each other.
“We will also promote enterprise opportunities across the greater Ballymena area including those hard to reach within our community.”
Ballymena Business Centre, a founding member of Enterprise Northern Ireland, is responsible for over 109 workspace units, offices and retail space in four hubs across the community and was the first of its kind to establish a multipurpose enterprise hub in the town centre and invest in 8,000 sq ft of vacant retail property located on Church Street in Ballymena.
This privately funded initiative offers office space, as well as a retail area for creative entrepreneurs to showcase their design and making skills in Midtown Makers Shop.
Ballymena Business Centre also works in partnership with a range of organisations including Enterprise NI, Invest NI, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, The Gallaher Trust, Northern Regional College, Ballykeel Business Development Ltd and Harryville and Ballee Community Partnership.
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