THE Ballymena Business Centre was one of the first delivery partners chosen by The Gallaher Trust to deliver on creating jobs and skills development.
With an investment of £183,000 over three years, the Ballymena Business Centre, which has a mission to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship by delivering initiatives to support the economic and community generation in the Ballymena Area, set up the ‘Enabling Enterprise’ Project.
This project focusses on encouraging and supporting local business start-ups through roadshows, seed fund support, the provision of retail incubation space and targeted training.
Melanie Christie Boyle, Chief Executive of Ballymena Business Centre said the monies assisted greatly in championing the growth of local start-up companies in the area.
She said, “This investment has gone a long way in encouraging further growth in the community, empowering the public and providing a platform to put their business ideas into action.
“As a result of this funding, seed fund grants of £500 are available to new business start-ups in the local area, free monthly training sessions are available for businesses across the local area to develop their skills and grow their businesses and we’ve also created an entrepreneur club to encourage local business to network and support each other.
“Some of our deliverables included encouraging 100 business start-ups, creating 51 jobs, awarding the seed fund grant to 144 new businesses, providing seven retail test trading, delivering 36 training workshops for 540 entrepreneurs and employing the Enterprise Enabler to deliver this project.
“We are very thankful to The Gallaher Trust for their investment and support, the organisation has made a significant contribution to the wider Ballymena economy and I am thrilled that the Ballymena Business Centre is a part of it.”
Ian Paisley MP, Chair of The Gallaher Trust commented, “The series of Initiatives put forward by the Ballymena Business Centre is exactly why The Gallaher Trust was set up – to support job creation in the local area. We are delighted to be involved in exciting initiatives such as this.”