Willowbank Business Park celebrates tenth anniversary

Liam Black, owner and Fiona Magill, marketing manager, from IT company GSL and its subsidiary Speckie Techies. Liam was the first business owner to move into Willowbank Business Park  in October 2004. INLT 47-657-CON

Liam Black, owner and Fiona Magill, marketing manager, from IT company GSL and its subsidiary Speckie Techies. Liam was the first business owner to move into Willowbank Business Park in October 2004. INLT 47-657-CON

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Business development organisation LEDCOM is “working to achieve real growth and job creation through continued development” at Willowbank Business Park.

Willowbank Business Park, a state-of-the-art, five-acre facility, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Millbrook.

It is LEDCOM’S second business park in the town. The Millbrook site opened in 2004 to supplement its services at LEDCOM Industrial Estate, Bank Road. LEDCOM will be celebrating 30 years in business next year.

LEDCOM’s chief executive officer Ken Nelson said that Willowbank has proved popular for new businesses and existing businesses alike, particularly “knowledge-based and export oriented companies”.

“We have attracted innovative and exciting businesses with the potential for real growth. Many of these companies are performing extremely well in export markets and have chosen to locate here because of the high-tech specification of the units and the location close to the major A8 dual carriage way linking Larne to Belfast.

“The business support provided by LEDCOM has helped these businesses develop and grow. I would encourage any business owners looking for an ideal location to come along and see what Willowbank has to offer.”

His views were echoed by three of the businesses currently occupying units at Willowbank Business Park.

The most recent business occupants are brothers, Andrew and Michael Fairfowl, from Blazin’ Digital, which supplies state-of-the-art digital signage, displays and billboards for businesses advertising their products and services.

Andrew said: “We find LEDCOM very helpful, not just in accommodating our needs and providing the space, but in taking a really keen interest in our business. They have signposted us to a couple of business opportunities we hadn’t looked at.

“In the short time we have been here, we have received a lot of interest from LEDCOM in what we are doing and also a willingness to help us whatever way they can. We immediately felt we made the right decision to come here.”

Liam Black. of IT Company, GSL was the first tenant to move into the new business park in 2004. He has recently opened a ‘pay as you go’ subsidiary company, ‘Speckie Techies, which provides technical support.

Mr Black said: “When I moved in, Willowbank was a brand new facility. We were originally in Belfast, but this was more cost effective as I am from Whitehead. All my staff are from the Larne and Islandmagee area.

“Willowbank is a great spot. I love being based in a LEDCOM facility and we find the LEDCOM team a great help. It is very convenient to Belfast and will be even more so when the dual carriageway is completed in early 2015.”

The second tenant to move in was Barbara McVeigh, owner of Willowbank Daycare Nursery, who said she loves the site: “Willowbank is secure and well-maintained with very helpful support staff. They can advise you on all sorts of areas. I did the ‘Business Start-up’ course with them which was invaluable.

“The company can provide day care nursery places for owners and employees of businesses located at Willowbank. Willowbank is an ideal commuting site for parents travelling from Larne to Belfast to work.

“The great thing about LEDCOM is the team can put you in touch with a great range of training courses through its social enterprise, Chain HR, including food hygiene, first aid, which is great for my staff development.”

To find out more about what Willowbank Business Park has to offer visit, www.willowbankbusinesspark.com or www.ledcom.org, call 028 2826 9973 or email geraldinesmyth@ledcomwbp.org