The Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor Sam Cole welcomed His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Kent to the Borough yesterday (Monday), to discuss economic development.
The purpose of the reception is to showcase current work on the digital economy and provide an opportunity to network with the University of Ulster and key business representatives from the local area.
The visit followed a private engagement with Lord Ballyedmond that took place last year.
At that time His Royal Highness expressed an interest in the North Coast area and in particular the Project Kelvin cable.
True to his word, he visited Coleraine on Monday afternoon to witness the opportunities first hand.
The event was hosted jointly by the University of Ulster and Coleraine Borough Council to showcase the opportunities offered by the Digital Causeway.
Speaking after the visit, Mayor of Coleraine Councillor Sam Cole said: “His Royal Highness has an interest in the world of business and one of his particular areas of attention is telecommunications.
“He is patron of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce which promotes, facilitates and supports business between Russia and the UK.
“These so-called BRIC countries are among those that Coleraine Borough Council is working to develop with Invest Northern Ireland. His Royal Highness is also a founder patron of the Genesis Initiative which is involved in the promotion of small businesses for the Small and Medium Enterprise sector, and in particular the export side of this work.
“That is another economic development thread that is being fostered in the Borough in partnership with the University of Ulster and Invest Northern Ireland.
“During the visit HRH Prince Michael was briefed on the ‘Digital Causeway’ and the competitive advantages of establishing Cloud and Data Centre operations in this outstanding part of Northern Ireland.
“Coleraine has now become a strategic location for inward investment because of the confluence of the following factors which include; the excellence of key research and programmes within the University of Ulster at Coleraine; the growth of the international Cloud Computing/Big Data sector; and the recent government investment in a transatlantic cable system, making Coleraine the optimal communications hub between North America, the UK and Continental Europe.”
Prince Michael listened to a presentation on the Borough of Coleraine and economic development conducted by Council chief Roger Wilson and then heard a briefing on the Digital Causeway from the Chair, Telecommunications Engineering, University of Ulster, Professor Gerard Parr followed by a question and answer session.
The Mayor concluded the event by thanking His Royal Highness for his support and looking forward to his help with future economic development opportunities.
Prince Michael was joined by The Lord Ballyedmond who recently has been generously lending his support to local economic efforts. Lord Northbrook, Ms Charlotte Pike, Sir William and Lady Moore all attended the presentation and the Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor Same Cole presented a gift on behalf of the Borough prior to his departure and signing of the official guest book.