Carrickfergus Enterprise has announced significant expansion plans that will help support the creation of up to 100 new jobs.
The Meadowbank Road-based social enterprise revealed today (Tuesday) that it has achieved full occupancy for the first time in over 20 years.
The Carrickfergus business park, opened in 1994, currently hosts 36 tenants employing 140 staff. The 60,000 sq2 site has 39 units with 13 high-tech offices offering SMEs a home for their business to develop.
Due to high demand, Carrickfergus Enterprise hopes to secure funding to begin building phase four to accommodate the need for high tech office space.
The new 12,750 sq ft build will offer 24-28 hi tech offices supporting the creation of 80-100 jobs. It is felt that increased offering of high quality space will accommodate Carrickfergus’ transition from traditional manufacturing to the digital economy.
The expansion is aligned to Mid and East Antrim’s Amplify Strategy which intends to tackle the limited number of digital and technology firms in the borough. It is aimed at promoting knowledge economy jobs to create more opportunities in priority sectors such as digital, financial and business services, advanced manufacturing, and agri-food sectors.
Bill Adamson, chairman of Carrickfergus Enterprise, said: “The one hundred per cent occupancy is great news for Carrickfergus Enterprise and the Mid and East Antrim Borough. The area has faced several blows this year however full occupancy at the park demonstrates a renewed confidence in the local economy. We are proud to help and support local SMEs as they grow their businesses.
“We’ve seen a greater demand for modern high-tech offices as a response to the changing nature of work in the local area. Entrepreneurs are increasingly tapping into the digital economy and need a supported space to be able to advance their business.”
Key sectors currently represented at the park include manufacturing, ICT services, research & development, life sciences, fabrication services and financial services.
Greg Simpson, managing director of tenant company ADP Diagnostics, said: “We’ve been in business for 13 years, the last two years we have been based at the business park. In that time we’ve developed the business significantly with 25% growth.
“The support of Carrickfergus Enterprise has a critical role in that journey as the available accommodation has offered us the flexibility and space we needed. We also have access to a variety of business development programmes and networking events.”