Dungannon enjoys biggest job bonanza

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Dungannon is cementing its position as the North’s rising star in terms of economic growth with news that it had the largest jobs boom in the North outside of Belfast.

Over the past year, 913 new jobs were created in Dungannon’s locally owned companies with the support of Invest Northern Ireland, greater than Derry’s 454 and Craigavon’s 638, and beaten only by Belfast’s 1571.

The new jobs came with a price tag of a whopping £100million paid by Invest NI, representing the second largest investment in the North.

By contrast, there were 309 new jobs created in Cookstown’s locally owned companies, and 214 in Magherafelt.

Moyle had the lowest number of new jobs at just 17.

The local area’s dramatic emergence as an industrial heartland has been linked to the strong presence of engineering and food processing firms and the dramatic rise in the local population.

According to separate figures released by the Department of Finance, a total of 70 companies in the local area had a turnover of more than £5m last year, with a further 3,325 successful businesses in sectors ranging from food and agricultural companies, to construction, retail, manufacturing, property and transport.

Evidence that the economic recovery is spreading through the Mid-Ulster region also emerged at the annual Mid Ulster Business Awards, organised by the Mid Ulster Mail and the Tyrone Times.

Over the past few years, Northern Ireland Assembly Ministers attending the event have hailed the strength of exports from firms in the area, and said they were highly impressed by the quality of local businesses. Minister Michele O’Neill has said she felt an immense sense of pride in local businesses .

Commenting on the investment figures, a spokesperson for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment said: “Invest NI monitors individual projects on an ongoing basis to ensure that they comply with the conditions of the Letter of Offer and deliver the economic benefits envisaged. Any payment against jobs created is made retrospectively once they have been validated.”

Locally owned companies in Cookstown received a planned investment of £49million, while those in Magherafelt are set to get £9million.

Invest NI created a record number of jobs in 2014.