Coleraine secures NI’s first Enterprise Zone

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Michelle Knight McQuillan
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Michelle Knight McQuillan

DETI Minister Jonathan Bell has announced the designation of a 40 acre site in Coleraine as the first Enterprise Zone in Northern Ireland as part of this year’s budget announcement.

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Michelle Knight-McQuillan has welcomed the annoucement: “This is a great testament to the determination and ambition of the Council and local business community.

“This is the first Enterprise Zone in Northern Ireland and it is our hope this new designation will attract investment and jobs to the region, giving Causeway Coast and Glens an opportunity to develop a digital hub and secure long term sustainable business.

David Jackson, Chief Executive of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council added: “The Enterprise Zone will offer enhanced capital allowances to new investors, so this announcement is a crucial and exciting step in attracting business to the area.

“Set in a prime location adjacent to the University of Ulster and the Hiberia Networks landing station – the site offers the fastest connection point to mainland US from Europe. We are perfectly positioned to attract international digital and tech companies from both business and lifestyle perspectives, bringing inward investment to the region. Combined with the incoming changes to Corporate Tax rate to 12.5% in April 2018, we are sending out a compelling message as a foreign direct investment location.”

Professor Gerard Parr, Chair in Telecommunications Engineering at Ulster University said: “We are witnessing continued global growth in Cloud Computing and Data Analytics for improved business intelligence. With increasing global trends for applications and services based around Internet-of-Things and Social Networking, there is significant demand for data hosting and digital content management connected by high-speed telecommunications links. We look forward to collaborating with Causeway Coast and Glens to leverage the research capabilities at Coleraine campus and the Trans-Atlantic Kelvin Fibre Interconnector to make the Digital Causeway a reality for the benefit of the region and the rest of Northern Ireland