Mid Ulster has emerged as Northern Ireland’s rising star in terms of economic growth after it was revealed the region had enjoyed the strongest job boom of any of the new super council areas outside of Belfast.
A total of 778 new jobs was created in Mid Ulster by Invest Northern Ireland’s Jobs Fund in the past year, greater than Derry’s 456, and just behind Belfast’s 1035.
Dungannon District had 396 new jobs, Cookstown 231 and Magherafelt 151.
In contrast, Carrickfergus had the lowest jobs boost with just 12 new posts created, followed by Larne with 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 recent Mid Ulster Business Awards, organised by the Mid Ulster Mail and the Tyrone Times.
Stormont Junior Minister Jonathan Bell, one of the guest speakers at the glittering awards ceremony, hailed the strength of exports from firms in the area, and said he was highly impressed by the quality of local businesses. Minister Michele O’Neill also said she felt an immense sense of pride in local businesses .