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Council may earmark £280,000 on economic development plans in hope of creating 500 jobs

It will depend on a 'comprehensive' EU funding application proving successful

Craigavon Civic Centre

ABC Council is considering earmarking almost £280,000 on local economic development programmes which officials hope will create 500 new jobs over the next three years.

The Council’s economic development committee tonight (Tuesday) will be asked to approve the expenditure.

But the money will be used only if an application for EU funding proves successful.

Council is submitting what has been described as a “comprehensive application” for the European Regional Development Fund.

A total of £1,034,500 is being asked for in the final ERDF funding round, which covers the period from April 2020 until December 2022.

A paper to Tuesday’s committee explains: “If successful, it will enable council to continue with the current projects/programmes and include new assistance in the 2020-21 financial year for Young Entrepreneurs, First Time Exporters and Social Enterprises.

“Follow on programmes for the existing support of Business Engagement, Digital Transformation, Growth Driver and Win More Business Procurement will dovetail in, thus providing a seamless suite of support for our businesses.

“Over the course of the final phase of grant funding, officers aim to work with at least 800 local businesses, providing bespoke mentoring and best practice workshops, and aim to create 500 new jobs.

“This is estimated to bring at least £30 million GVA and £12 million in wages into the local economy.”

The committee has been asked to agree that £278,900 is ‘provisioned’ from the economic development budget over the course of the next three financial years if the application is successful.

Any decision taken at committee will then go back to full council later in the month to be formally approved.

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