Moves to establish a Causeway Enterprise Scheme to support start-up businesses have been welcomed.
UUP Cllr Richard Holmes has expressed delight that Causeway Coast and Glens Council colleagues have backed a report into the initiative.
It was recommended at Tuesday’s meeting of the Leisure and Development Committee and follows a motion in May proposing that council establishes an annual fund of £50k - £100k to support start-ups.
The local government authority, Mr Holmes explained, will make available £50,000 through a series of grants to applicants for start-up businesses in sectors such as creative, digital and tech sectors, tourism, new product development in the food sector, manufacturing and social enterprises.
Grants can be used for new equipment linked to job creation, specialist training, software, support towards key staff or marketing support.
Mr Holmes said: “We need to help the entrepreneurs to drive the local economy. One of the scariest steps anyone can take is to start up a business. But these wealth creators are critical to the success of our borough.
“It is important that we build on our tourism offer and enhance our tech and industrial sectors which will help to drive up wages in the area.
“We remain significantly behind other councils in terms of average salaries which is a grave concern.
“This fund has the potential to kick start business growth and can help to build on the Atlantic Link Enterprise Campus.
“It must be our ambition to turn this area into the entrepreneurial capital of Northern Ireland.”