£1.58m innovation centre takes new step forward

THE construction of a £1.58 million Innovation Growth Centre for Omagh took a step forward with the appointment of a design team for the ambitious project.

Belfast based consultants Edmond Shipway Ltd will take charge of designing the new 14,000 square foot state of the art building, which will provide a purpose built, technology focused, business environment for 20 new and expanding businesses in the town.

Work on the site in the Omagh Business Complex at the Gortrush Industrial Estate is due to start early in 2012.

The cross-border EU funded initiative, is led by Omagh District Council, in partnership with Omagh Enterprise Company, Leitrim County Council and Leitrim County Enterprise Board and developed by the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN) through their multi-annual plan.

According to Omagh District Council, the overall aim of the project is to develop innovative twin business workspace facilities in Omagh and Carrick-on-Shannon, where a 7,500 square foot Technology Enterprise Centre will also be built, and to deliver business advisory services including specialist consultancy, mentoring and cross-border networking events.

Costing £3.2 million, the project has received £2.2 million of funding from the EU INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Welcoming the appointment of the design team for the Omagh build, Omagh District Council chairman, Cllr Frankie Donnelly said he was delighted that work was progressing well on the development which he said would create much needed jobs, particularly during the current economic climate.

“As well as creating jobs during the construction phase, in the longer term, the new state of the art building will provide much needed assistance to new and expanding and high tech businesses, and will establish Omagh as a centre of excellence for the support it offers to those businesses at the cutting edge of innovation,” he said.

Also welcoming the next stage in the development, chair of Omagh Enterprise Company, Professor Fabian Monds said the Innovation Enterprise Programme builds on the strong track record of support for entrepreneurs provided by Omagh Enterprise Company.

“New innovative businesses need the right environment and expertise to in which to grow, as well as access to international markets and the creation of high quality employment, and the new facilities in the Innovation Growth Centre will ensure that this happens in Omagh,” he said

Source: ulsterherald.com