Page 1

Magazine of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce





Colin Mullan, Managing Director and Karen McQuillan, Finance Director at Find Insurance NI. Chamber’s Commercial Insurance Corporate Partner

Foyle Port Creating Opportunities for All President’s Annual Lunch 2019 Focus on Education, Skills & Training Chamber Member News 1

s s e c c u S r o F g Drivin

TEL : 028 7136 7707 |

2 | |

contents 6 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE 14 Beech Hill Country House


Historic hotel launches brand new innovate dining experiences

16 Cover Story

The future is bright for family run Find Insurance NI

21 Meet the Board

Meet the people of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce board

24 chamber life 26 President’s Annual Lunch

Our President Brian McGrath tells a packed audience at the Everglades Hotel that the time is right to push for and implement a City Deal for Derry-Londonderry

36 Education, Skills and Training

We celebrate those who are lighting the spark of education in our citizens


61 Down Memory Lane

Philip Gilliland speaks poignantly on the history of Caldwell and Robinson and how his father, David’s spirit lives on in the family business

66 Different Class

Gerard Devine speaks about how business life suits him

70 Welcome to the Chamber 74 Health and Wellbeing

Matthew Norrby tells us how we can stay fit and healthy in the workplace

26 16


Welcome to Issue 9 of CONNECTED Magazine The year we left behind was one of many challenges for the northwest business community. CONNECTED, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce’s full colour publication. Designed and produced by business people for business people. Distributed to businesses across the North West.

CONNECTED Magazine Editor Leona O’Neill Content Editors Carol Kelly Mairead Reid Production & Design Big Moo Design Business Development Executive Mairead Reid Email Address Front Cover Image Stephen Latimer Photography

Londonderry Chamber of Commerce President Brian McGrath Business Operations Manager Carol Kelly Advertising Mairead Reid

But despite the obstacles presented by Brexit, persistent uncertainty and the lack of a functioning assembly, businesses in this region forged ahead with focus and drive. Education, training and skills play a crucial role in our society’s ability to grow and thrive. A community who are constantly pushing themselves to be the best version of themselves, to train and become leaders in their field and who refuse to sit on their laurels are the lifeblood of our region. This edition of CONNECTED Magazine revolves around this very theme. We aim to inspire our readers to engage with and embrace education in all its forms. We hope to galvanize those in work to push themselves and those in their workforce further by improving their own skills. Our hope is to encourage those in business to look to a trained and skilled workforce as the foundations of a strong, resilient and thriving business. We showcase the very best our region has with regards to top class education, training and skill providing establishments. We feature those who are lighting a spark in our people - the purveyors of hopes, dreams and enthusiasm - and those who are driving this city and region to be the very best it can be. They say your health is your wealth and this is especially true when running a business. We focus on how to look, feel and be well so that you are giving your business, your family and your life the very best version of you. Fitness expert Matt Norrby doubles down on how hard working people with little time can stay well, eat well and keep themselves fit, suggesting tips such as workouts or particular foods to boost energy for the busy business man or woman. And former orthopedic surgeon Henry McGee explains how we can remain healthy in the workplace in positive, productive ways, while being smart with our time and energy. There is no doubt that the Brexit issue presents our business community with unknown challenges. But we are no strangers to challenges in this corner of the world. Past generations of business leaders faced world wars and kept going. Many of our businesses held firm throughout our Troubles and the recession. Brexit is just another challenge to overcome and it is heartening to see northwest businesses advancing with positivity, brimming with confidence and ideas, as well as a strong, firm hope for the future. These pages are full of good news stories, of business leaders making a real difference in our region, of bright sparks, family companies, of strong historic and community roots, of people working together to build each other up and make our city and region shine bright in the business world.

Events Manager Lorraine Allen


t: 028 7126 2379 w:


Leona O’Neill Commercial Insurance Corporate Partner:

Follow us on:

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the publisher accepts no responsibility for omissions or errors within this publication. Editorial submissions are included at the discretion of the editor. The opinions expressed in articles within this publication are not necessarily those of the Chamber. All offers, promotions and competitions appearing in CONNECTED are the sole responsibility of the advertiser/promoting party and Londonderry Chamber of Commerce does not accept any responsibility for any representations made within them.


Chamber corporate partners

Chamber Patrons



































AAconvenient, friendly and reliable convenient,friendly friendlyand andreliable service doorstep serviceon on your yourdoorstep doorstep RR KK I RR RR NGGAR KKI IKKIIN RAA IG NNG N NG RG RA RRAA








PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE This is the first edition of CONNECTED in 2019 and also the first edition in which I write to you as President of the Londonderry Chamber. It is a great honor to represent businesses in the North West city region and I am fortunate to be following in the footsteps of Jennifer McKeever who did a tremendous job of representing the membership both here in the North West and further afield. Since 2016, business and wider society has faced an incredible challenge with huge political change and upheaval taking place on an unprecedented scale since the Brexit referendum. Nonetheless, business must continue to put its best foot forward and meet the challenge head on. In the North West, we have not been shy about that. It has already been a busy couple of months since I took over as President in December. From events like Café Conversations, to the President’s Lunch, my primary focus has been on engaging with the membership. We have a number of interesting events planned for the spring and I am looking forward to continuing that engagement. None of this could happen without the exemplary team we have at the Chamber offices who are always on hand to provide support to members. In recent months they have welcomed an influx of new members. We also have a Board that is more committed than ever, and they bring a wealth of dedication and experience which is second to none. Brexit will continue to dominate things over the next 12 months, and we intend to carry on communicating the clear voice of business in this region that wants to see a soft Brexit and continued ease of access to markets in the Republic of Ireland and Europe. We will also continue to make your voice heard in London, Dublin and Brussels. The absence of an Executive for the past two years makes that more difficult and we absolutely need to see the restoration of local decision making at Stormont as soon as possible. While it is true that Brexit will pose challenges, it’s also important to acknowledge that the North West has never been in a better position to face them, and to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead of us. I am certain that the members of the Chamber will overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities that are presented to us.


Brian McGrath President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce

Indeed, in a recent survey of our members, the issues that you revealed mattered most to you in 2019 were a City Deal, Business Development and Investment in the North West. Using this input from the membership, I will be driving these issues forward and focusing on how we can develop and deliver them. One of the most exciting opportunities that lies before us is the potential City Deal for the North West city and region. The UK Government has indicated that it will support a City Deal and we will continue to work closely with Derry City and Strabane District Council and other partners to further those negotiations and to

achieve a deal which recognises our unique location here on the border and one which has the potential to transform our economy and region. Our members are the people who make the Chamber what it is, and I am determined to echo your voice in everything we do this year.

Brian McGrath President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce

MEETINGS & EVENTS Bishop's Gate Hotel is the ideal place for great minds to discuss great ideas... ● Suitable for events from 6 - 90 delegates ● Event spaces boast natural daylight ● Complimentary Wi-Fi access ● 3 unique private dining areas ● 30 bedrooms available for residential delegates


Bishop’s Gate Hotel, 24 Bishop Street, Derry~Londonderry, BT48 6PP 028 7114 0300 e : w :



Roe Park Resort awarded TripAdvisor Hall of Fame Roe Park, the 4-star golf and spa resort in Limavady, has been recognised for outstanding excellence having been awarded a place in the TripAdvisor ‘Hall of Fame’. Since 2011, the Certificate of Excellence has honoured hospitality businesses that deliver consistently great service across the world. The Hall of Fame was created to honour those businesses that have earned a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years, an accolade presented to only 10% of the total businesses on TripAdvisor. To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses need to maintain an overall rating of at least four out of five. At present, the Roe Park Resort has an impressive 969 “Excellent” ratings on the online site out of a total 1,597 reviews from guests. Speaking about being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Roe Park Resort’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Sinead McNicholl said, “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by our clients for excellence. We are delighted to join the world’s best hospitality businesses in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame and would like to thank all our customers for taking the time to leave such positive reviews of their experiences at the resort.

Dawson Hinds forging ahead with collaborative spaces “When it comes to office design, nothing is more important than ensuring you are staying up to date with the latest office design trends. The productivity of your team relies heavily on their experience of the workplace and this is reflected in the quality of work produced. Each wave of a generation entering the workplace causes another shift in the demands of your office design. In the ever-changing workspace environment, it is essential to continuously innovate and our featured collection of pods, booths, and hubs are the solution. Featured throughout our digital guide is a range of unique products that will enhance your workplace in 2019. Visit to read our latest guide titled ‘How to create a collaborative office space in 2019’ featuring hubs, booths, pods & so much more!”


“We are investing significantly in our facilities over the next year, beginning with the £500,000 refurbishment of our main function room, followed by our 118

bedrooms and restaurant. We hope this will only enhance our customer’s stay at the resort, creating unforgettable experience for many years to come.”

Doherty Pic put down roots in North West A long-established pension and investment consultancy with links to the northwest has put down roots in Derry-Londonderry with the opening of their new premises in the North West Science Park. Doherty Pension and Investment Consultancy Business Development Director John Dooher said it was the natural next step for the company who, although based in Belfast, had a growing client base in the northwest “We have been dealing with people all over Northern Ireland for 34 years,” he said. “We always had a band of very loyal clients in the northwest. Our Investment Director Gavin Curran is from Derry and I’m from Claudy. We had an ever increasing client base here and really want to build on that.

Gavin Curran, Investment Director and John Dooher, Business Development Director of Doherty Pension & Investment Consultancy

“Having a northwest base allows us to provide a better service to our existing clients and develop relationships with local firms who want to develop their employee benefits. “We are excited about getting out and about to tell people who we are and what we do and finding out about the many diverse companies and individuals in the city.” For more information on Doherty PIC log on to

Northern Ireland’s Leading Law Search Company Prompt Precise Progressive

Let LAWLINK NI take the stress out of Conveyancing

We Offer our Clients • A dedicated and very experienced team of law searchers, currently • • • •

• • •

providing over 1/3 of ALL search content to the NI Property Market Use of the latest technology enabling speedy response times A comprehensive product offering not available from other search companies including Title Indemnity via Dual Asset Underwriting Competitive Pricing Property Certificates, NI Water maps, ACE Maps, NIE Maps (Including a pro active chase system enabling a speedier return of Maps & Certificates) This is a service and convenience that no other search company is currently providing. Dial to Dig- If you are planning to carry out any excavation works or development to ascertain what utilities exist close to where the work is to take place. Land Referencing –Unique to Lawlink Our innovative data and mapping platform provides a secure, intelligent workflow resource. Professional Indemnity of £10,000, 000 (Highest in the NI Legal Search Market) 02890 230095



CityMan shine at glittering awards

£1 million boost for rural business A massive £1m windfall for small rural businesses in the Derry and Strabane District Council area was announced in February by the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership. This major boost to rural small and micro businesses is thanks to the latest and final funding call released by the Rural Business Investment Scheme. The LEADER funding, delivered under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014 –2020, offers local rural businesses the opportunity to secure funding for capital investment projects that create new jobs and enhance export potential as well as assisting with marketing collateral.

CityMan Menswear was named Groomswear Supplier of the Year 2019 at the prestigious Northern Ireland Wedding Awards, held recently in Belfast. Based at 18 Waterloo Place and owned and operated by father and son David & Bryan McCandless, CityMan is a popular destination for engaged couples throughout the North-west. ‘We’d like to thank both our brilliant customers, whose glowing reviews played a big part in this award win, and our vastly experienced staff force; Paul Cooley, Sean McGlinchey, Martin Smith & Liam McGarrigle who each have decades of experience in the men’s clothing industry and whose level of service is unmatched’. Its onwards and upwards now for CityMan who have just launched ‘Regency’, a new range of premium quality business suits. ‘We love working with bridal parties but its just a small part of what we offer’ added Bryan, ‘Business, formal & casual wear are also always in stock’.


It has invested £1.5m to 34 rural businesses in the Derry and Strabane District Council area with the creation of 54 new jobs since it was launched in 2016. Speaking about the latest round of funding, Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “The Rural Business Investment Scheme funding has proven to be a tremendous success, delivering significant impact in our vast rural community. “The fund has helped 34 small rural businesses invest in their future by equipping them with the skills and infrastructure needed to take their business to the next level.

Pictured is Deborah Duddy and Pauline Lusby (owner) from the City of Derry Equestrian Centre who was awarded funding through the scheme to assist with marketing collateral to take her business to the next level.

“This is the final funding call under the Rural Business Investment Scheme. The Partnership is particularly keen to encourage applications from areas that have submitted low numbers to date, in particular, from the Sperrin District Electoral Area.” The Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-20 is part funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union. The LEADER Fund is administered by Derry City and Strabane District Council on behalf of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership. The Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership hosted a series of pre-application Workshops in February with attendance mandatory for any business intending to apply. Further information also available at

Fantastic Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire boost for City Derry will welcome an influx of visitors in May, here to participate in and enjoy Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire 2019, the County Fleadh. Hosted by CCÉ Baile na gCailleach, it will run from May 23 to 27, bringing the very best Traditional Irish music, dance and song into the heart of our city. As well as concerts, céili’s, and public Trad sessions, featuring some of Ireland’s finest musicians, more than 50 Traditional Irish arts competitions will take place in Coláiste Bhríde / St Brigid’s College. Speaking to CONNECTED, Ollie Green, Fleadh Chairperson said: “Supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council

and Studio 2 Arts’ Centre, Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire 2019 will see musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers and Gaeilgeoirí, from all corners of the county and beyond, their families and friends, staying in Derry for up to four days. “Although not on the scale of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2013, which benefitted the City’s economy to an estimated tune of £42 million, Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire will undoubtedly provide a much-needed boost to our local economy. “We would, therefore, encourage café, restaurant, bar and hotel owners, accommodation providers and Derry’s many retailers to become mutually beneficial Friends of the Fleadh.

Mná na Fleadh at the Launch of Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire 2019 in Derry’s Studio 2 Arts’ Centre.

“Help us make Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire 2019 the most wonderful, inclusive celebration possible. Help us build on its success. Help us aspire towards greater future Fleadh possibilities,” said Mr Green. Keep Fleadh up-to-date on Facebook (Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire 2019); Twitter (@FleadhDhoire); Instagram (fleadhcheoildhoire) and Snapchat (@fleadhdhoire). Email: and Telephone: 028 7135 8750.


City of Derry Flying High with New Manchester Service The announcement of a new daily service from City of Derry Airport to Manchester due to launch on 24th May 2019 brings amazing news for the North West. The new route will be operated by Scottish airline, Loganair, and will provide connectivity to one of the main hubs of the North of England, in addition to creating direct air access to international destinations via the connecting flights available at Manchester Airport. Flights are available to book now via Loganair offer an all-inclusive fare system which allows 20kg hold baggage and 6kg hand luggage to fly for free, as well as complimentary refreshments on board. In addition, there is discount available on child-fares and you can sign up to the Clan Loganair loyalty programme which rewards frequent flyers with points that can be used towards a reward flight of choice. As well as the convenience of travel and friendly welcome from your local airport, you can also pre-book your car-parking at City of Derry Airport for as little as £2 per day (T&C’s apply), and access to the Amelia Earhart Lounge via to start your trip in style! Manchester is a great choice for any type of break, whether you want to have fun with your kids, let your hair down with the girls or relax on a romantic break. There are endless activities and attractions to choose from for some family fun; Knowsley Safari offers a Safari Drive tour of the 550 acre location where you can view over 700 wild animals, all from the safety and comfort of a vehicle. Another unique attraction is Chill Factore – an indoor snow centre where you and your children can experience

indoor skiing, snowboarding, activities and have lessons on real snow. And for anyone with young children, a visit to Play! in Oldham is a must as it’s the UK’s largest indoor play centre for children up to 11 years and provides a separate play area for toddlers and babies. If you fancy enjoying a Manchester break with the girls, shopping should definitely be at the top of your to-do list! The city is renowned as a fabulous shopping destination and any shopaholics will love a trip to The Trafford Centre. Situated just five miles outside the city centre, you have the choice of over 200 stores along three miles of granite and marble boulevards. Stores range from designer and high fashion favourites, including the first Selfridges outside London, to stylish homewares at Barton Square. Follow this with a few drinks and some culture at the City of Manchester Gin Experience. This is a purpose-built space in the heart of the resurgent Green Quarter, with a cinema screen and private bar. Here you can tour the distillery, learn about the illustrious history of gin and how gin’s diverse flavours are concocted, whilst sampling complimentary drinks, and then

Jonathan Hinkles, Managing Director at Loganair, the Scottish airline which will be operating the new Manchester route, with Charlene Shongo, Airport Manager at City of Derry Airport.

finally being let loose to create your very own personalised bottle of gin to take home! Finish your girly getaway with a night on the tiles at Deansgate Locks, a trendy canal-side nightspot that offers various establishments such as The Comedy Store, Revolution and Baa Bar perfect for those who want to stay in one area on a night out. Manchester235 is also worth checking out if you want to party in the city. This is the first luxury gaming, dining and live music club in the UK. The spectacular Vegas-style casino offers an amazing evening of entertainment boasting two restaurants, multiple floors of gaming and a glamorous cocktail bar. 02 Ritz, a legendary nightclub and live music venue, is also very popular as its been drawing crowds for generations. And for those who are dreaming of a romantic weekend in Manchester, you will not be disappointed! Take a trip to The Lowry, a magnificent building alongside Salford Quays where you will find three stunning theatres which offer a huge variety of performances, including West End musicals, drama, live bands, comedians, plus world class dance.

Wonderful galleries showcasing artists of local, national and international renown are also available here. There are so many amazing dining experiences on offer. Corn Exchange Manchester is home to a selection of restaurants that offer a fusion of tastes from around the globe in a stunning Edwardian building designed with a modern twist. And for an atmospheric dining experience with your other half, look no further than Cloud 23 at The Hilton where you can enjoy the breath-taking city views from the 23rd floor at the legendary Beetham Tower building. Manchester is also a football fans dream – whilst it may not be top of the romantic things to do on a couples retreat, this will certainly be a highlight for any footfall fanatic - from Manchester Utd Museum and Tour Centre, Manchester City Stadium Tour, the National Football Museum, and the world-famous Old Trafford Stadium, there are is so much history to explore. For more information on City of Derry Airport’s NEW daily service to Manchester, visit



Vision, purpose and strategic mind key to success for Seagate boss A Day In The Life

Name: Damien Gallagher Age: 54 Home town: Derry Company: Seagate Technology Job Title: Executive Director, Process Engineering

Describe what you do in your job I lead the Process Engineering organisation at Seagate’s Springtown facility in the city. The site develops and manufactures tiny electronic components called recording heads for computer hard drives. The manufacturing process for these devices is among the most advanced in the world for any product. We are required to control sub-micron dimensions, much smaller than a grain of salt, hence the need to manufacture inside a highly controlled cleanroom environment. My group is ultimately responsible for developing and controlling the many aspects of this process, using the latest equipment, technologies and analysis techniques.

How many staff do you lead? Approximately 200 in the Process Engineering team, including managers, scientists, engineers, technicians. Our people come from many countries around the world, with a range of specialist knowledge in science and engineering.

Describe in detail a day in your business life Every day is different. Aside from the usual e-mail grind, I spend a lot of time in meetings, both within the Springtown site, and also in telepresence meetings with our sister site in Minneapolis. Seagate is a global company, and the customers for our Springtown site are other Seagate sites in Asia. Hence the need for daily review meetings across these sites to assess product performance and ensure any issues are highlighted and actioned. The manufacturing process in Springtown is very complex, we generate a lot of data, and consequently a lot of our site management meetings are geared towards reviewing this data, looking for areas of potential improvement. Most days I have 1:1 meetings with colleagues, some focussed on operational


performance, but also increasingly on employee development and coaching. Finally, I represent the site in our engagements with a number of external organisations, including universities and business organisations.

In your work, have you met anyone well known or famous? In my role, most of our visitors tend to be either company executives, politicians or other civic leaders who would be well known in our communities. I also had an opportunity to travel to Washington for an executive course on organisational development. At the course, General Stanley McChrystal, former US military commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, delivered a keynote speech and I had an opportunity to meet with him. I found his business and organisational insights very interesting. He subsequently travelled to the city to share these insights with the site and also with Chamber. On a lighter note, another celebrity I got to meet was RTE presenter Miriam O’Callaghan when she filmed a slot for ‘Ireland’s Greatest’on site!

What has been your most memorable day in work? The day that stands out is probably 28 th January 2010. That was the day Seagate announced a major R+D development at the Springtown site. This represented a breakthrough from a largely manufacturing site to a dual charter, incorporating both volume manufacturing and product development. Our site has progressed so much from that time, to the point where world-leading technology and products are now being developed in this city.

What is your greatest career achievement? On a personal level, that’s probably the day I was appointed Director with responsibility for new product delivery into the Springtown site.

What do you do to alleviate stress? I’m very fortunate to work with excellent managers who manage a lot of the day-to-day challenges associated with the Springtown operation. Over the years, I think I’ve learned better to focus on the big picture and not get too stressed out by short-term ups and downs. Outside of work, my main hobby is golf. I’m a member of Ballyliffin Golf Club, where I aim to play once a week during the summer. I’m trying to get my handicap down, so I’m not sure that counts as stress relief!

What’s the best business advice anyone has given you? “Things are never as bad as they seem, nor as good as they seem”. I constantly have to remind myself of this advice when we have the inevitable ups and downs of business.

What is your favourite motto/saying/ mantra? Three words - “Good enough, isn’t” Always strive for your best, don’t be satisfied with just good enough. I say this to my children, they just laugh at me!

What traits make a good boss? A clear sense of vision and purpose, a strategic mind, the ability to communicate a plan, and empathy. Also, it’s important to have a healthy level of self-awareness to know your limitations, don’t take yourself too seriously, and delegate actions to the right people.

Beer masterclass at brewery They say true beauty is in the eye of the beerholder and now, thanks to the Walled City Brewery you can be an expert in such matters. For the award-winning restaurant - which has just been awarded the ‘Best Gastropub in Ireland’ accolade - has launched their much anticipated Beer Masterclasses at their beautiful and historic site at Ebrington Barracks. During the hour and a half masterclass you will be able to relax in the stylish surroundings of the

The Beer Masterclass is a 1.5 hour interactive experience where you can relax, sit back and let our talented brewers tell you the extraordinary 9000 year old story of of brewing. All whilst tasting our 8 house beers matched with artisanal local snacks! An authentic taste of Legenderry!

Walled City Brewery - the first brewery in the city centre for over a century - hear the ancient story of brewing, sample delicious house beers, whilst also being paired with artisanal, local snacks. A true taste of Legenderry!

The Walled City Brewery is the first brewery in Derry-Londonderry city centre for over 100 years, and is housed in the historic Ebrington Barracks at the end of the Peace Bridge. We recently won the acclaimed “Best Gastropub in Ireland” April - August Friday @ 3pm . Extra dates & times may be available, please check on website. Booking essential at £20 pp/Add Burger & Fries £27.50 pp Ebrington Square, Derry-Londonderry

The masterclass is perfect for tourists to the city and also for those in business who are looking for a fun and hugely interesting corporate day out. Masterclasses are also available offsite for those who can’t make it to the Walled City Brewery.

Perfect for team building. Private group & corporate bookings are welcome and can be catered for offsite: Email






Services: Our team of solicitors provide bespoke legal advice in the areas of;

- Employment Law - Commercial Law - Civil/Commercial Litigation - Property - Family/Matrimonial - Wills & Probate - Clinical Negligence


Our Offices:

Derry~Londonderry Office:

City Factory, 8 North Edward Street Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland, BT48 7EF (028) 7137 1705 Strabane Office: Unit 43 Strabane Enterprise Agency Orchard Road Industrial Estate, Orchard Road Strabane, Co Tyrone, BT82 9FR (028) 7187 8177

13 02594 - McCay Solicitors Connected Advert Landscape.indd 1

06/03/2019 10:47


New menu recipe for success at Beech Hill You never know who you’ll meet at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel. For the stunning Ardmore country home nestled in 30 acres of gorgeous woodland grounds, steeped in 400 years of rich history, renowned the world over for its sumptuous food has played host to everyone from presidents to A-list pop stars. Alongside the spectacular setting, it is the awardwinning dining that is defining the direction of Beech Hill in 2019 with the opening of a new and exciting Casual Dining Experience and the launch of their New Afternoon Tea Menu all very soon.

This coupled with the innovation of the fine dining offering, and a game-changing Wedding Menu means a very exciting time for Beech Hill Country House. Leading this new direction is award-winning Executive Chef Leigh Thurston, who has been building something special at Beech Hill over the past four years but feels that 2019 could really put it on the map as the best food experience in the region. The House Collection, who recently purchased Beech Hill Country House Hotel, are focused on bringing the best dining experiences combined with amazing Hospitality to

Derry-Londonderry. Leigh explains that through maintaining a strong focus on the local community and then creating a product that has something for everyone, somewhere that they are excited to try themselves and come back with family and friends. “Our focus is fun,” he says, “Both with the new casual dining experience and our Afternoon Tea, we are focusing on every detail to make the experience really amazing and unique for our guests. We are combining the 400-year history of Beech Hill with a dining experience that is totally different to anything else in the area. It will be a fun and innovate menu in a setting carefully designed around the rich history of Beech Hill.” The Beech Hill Country House is also planning to position itself as a unique destination not only for the leisure guest, but as an ideal location for those off-site meetings, conferences and corporate retreats from all over the island of Ireland. The beautiful 30-acre landscape on which Beech Hill Country House is built has allowed the owners to be creative and utilise the grounds for a myriad of


activities such as archery, clay pigeon shooting, treasure hunts and other exciting team building activities. Executive meetings and conferences from two to 300 can be accommodated in meeting rooms which boast stunning views, and are coupled with wonderful character and charm. The stunning hotel offers guests the opportunity to step beyond the walls of the boardroom with something a little different to reward their teams,promising an offering of bespoke refreshment breaks that range from healthy to the indulgent – depending on your mood!







32 Ardmore Rd, Londonderry BT47 3QP

Phone: 028 7134 9279



The future is bright for family run Find Insurance CONNECTED talks to Colin Mullan, the Managing Director of Find Insurance NI about its services, company development and the importance and positives of being local. Find Insurance NI is a locally based and family-run business, with 40 staff based on Spencer Road in the heart of the city. Specialising in commercial insurance, they also sell car, home, and private medical insurance. Colin joined the company in 2010 and after working through all divisions of the business, he became the Managing Director in 2016. Colin comments, “Find Insurance NI has been in my family since 1977. We’ve gone through a few name changes but after being bought over by Open and Direct Insurance in 2000 there was an option to buy the company back in 2008 and we have been independent ever since. You certainly would struggle to identify another independent and locally owned insurance broker in Derry. We are proudly an indigenous, family-run and orientated company. When it’s personal, you definitely care


more. If you happen to lose a client, you really feel it and that’s why we have to be as good as we can be.” There can be a perception that smaller or independent companies are not big enough to sustain bigger contracts and clients, but this is what often drives smaller companies forward to show that they are prepared and willing to take on the challenges and punch above their weight. “We’re lucky to have a really great team here and they are the drivers behind our ability to do what we do. The insurance industry can be very Belfast-centric so finding experienced people in Derry can be difficult. The onus is very much on us to train and develop our people and to make sure that we provide an environment where firstly, people want to come into this industry and secondly, that they want to stay and have a rewarding career.”

The world of insurance can often be male-dominated but Colin is keen to show that this does not have to be the case and Find Insurance NI is one company leading the way in this area. “Over the past number of years, we have worked really hard and invested in our


We really want to project ourselves into the mindset of the business community here. The ethos of the Chamber has always been to support each other and in these uncertain times, that is more important than ever.”

team to ensure that everyone has equal access to opportunities for growth and development. We are really proud that we have bucked the male dominated trend in our own company and have a formidable team in house. Karen McQuillan became our Financial Director in 2017 and has been a strong advocate for women in the sector and has helped to drive the company forward.” The economy has seen uncertain times in recent years and often independent businesses can feel the impact of this most harshly. Find Insurance NI became independent during the midst of the recession and as with many businesses, fought hard to bounce back. “There were a few lean years, but they were a good learning curve for us, and we are stronger and better for it. We’ve seen a decent growth curve with turnover growing from £8 million in 2015 to £13 million in 2019.

We’re feeling positive about the coming years with £17 million turnover projected for 2022. We’re hungry to succeed and we never underestimate the importance of our clients to help maintain and sustain our business.” Being a business based in the North West comes with both its challenges and its opportunities, situated close to the border but often fighting for a focus away from Belfast. “Infrastructure to the area has hindered a lot of possibilities for the city. This is beginning to be rectified with the improvement of the A6 but the A5 still requires drastic attention and until that happens, it will continue to suffocate some opportunities for businesses here. However, although we are battling against the odds with delayed improvements to infrastructure, there are still lots of success stories. We’re seeing tech and indigenous start-ups and a growing tourism industry which shows that we have the capabilities of doing great things in the future.”

With Brexit looming large, many businesses in the North West, both small and large, are concerned for the future and the uncertainties that it entails. “Brexit is a huge unknown. It is difficult for businesses to prepare for the impact that it will have because no one can tell us what exactly it means. Over the past year the Chamber has been such a strong voice and advocate for the North West, letting the world know that we are open for business and ready for the challenges that lie ahead. We’ve been Chamber members for many years but the last year especially has encouraged us to get more involved and be part of that advocacy. We really want to project ourselves into the mindset of the business community here. The ethos of the Chamber has always been to support each other and in these uncertain times, that is more important than ever.”



Communications expert Kevin comes home with new Vodafone store Kevin McFeely knows retail and communications more than most and now he will funnel his experience heading up some of the UK’s biggest retail chains into his very own Vodafone franchise in DerryLondonderry. The local man has taken the reigns at the Richmond Centre store and is forging ahead to do more for business and personal users in his home city. “Having managed retail stores at a national and regional level all over Ireland and UK, when the opportunity came to own my own business in my hometown, backed by one of the biggest brands on the high street, I jumped at the chance,” he says. “Vodafone are really evolving. Last year alone we spent one billion pounds on improving our mobile and fixed network and as a result we have just won a ‘Best Network Award’. “On top of that most people won’t be aware that we now have our own fixed line network, unlike many of other providers. We were also the first provider to eradicate line rental.

Kevin McFeely at his Richmond Centre store

“We provide great speeds and offer some of the cheapest fibre broadband deals out there. And let’s not forget our Ultimate Broadband Guarantee – super fast speeds to your router, or money off your bill until it is fixed.” Just some of the reason why we have been voted “Broadband Provider of the Year” by uSwitch.

“There are many unique benefits in joining Vodafone. One of which is our ‘Ireland Plus Tariff’, which allows customers to use all their calls, text and data anywhere within Ireland without worrying about any international or roaming charges.

Kevin, who has gone out on his own following his last position looking after Vodafone Retail Northern Ireland, is no stranger to business, having managed 175 stores across the UK for a leading high street name. Having walked the walk, Kevin says he will work hard for the benefit of local business. “Many businesses have their telephones and broadband via third parties,” he says. “We can offer the


same competitiveness, and unrivalled service from local people”.

“We also have business plans with unlimited email, maps and handset replacement to your door within four hours.” “On top of this I’m aware that it can be fundamental for businesses to operate and communicate from different destinations, all our packages include EU roaming and options to include Global Roaming, including USA, Canada, Australia etc, our Entertainment tariffs include a choice

of Spotify, NOW TV, Amazon Prime Video or Sky Sports”. Kevin says that Vodafone ‘is more than just a phone shop’. “We provide solutions for home security, pet trackers, bag and car trackers, data sims for everyday business and home use such as CCTV and other IoT devices,” Kevin says Vodafone give a unique vow to their customers. “We have a ‘Love Us or Leave Us’ 30-day network/service guarantee,” he says. “We are so confident in our network, if it doesn’t deliver what we said it would or your simply not happy with it, you can leave within 30 days.” Please feel free to call in and chat to Kevin and the team or call on 0782 593 1005.

20% off all smartphone plans



£a17 month

£a30 month



£0 upfront

£29 upfront


Huawei P smart 2019 1GB data with Red Extra

£a30 month


Huawei P20 Pro 5GB data with Red Extra

£0 upfront

Google Pixel 3 5GB data with Red Extra

Exclusive to Northern Ireland Visit your local store today or call 0808 077 4433

The future is exciting.


The official sponsor of the Irish rugby team. 19

RPI: Each April, your plan price will increase by an amount equal to the RPI rate published in March of that year, see Minimum term agreement & credit check apply. Minutes to standard mobiles & landlines (UK: 01, 02, 03), texts & data in the UK & our 48 Roam-free destination. A 1-minute minimum call charge applies. Terms, exclusions & destinations at | 20 % off offer: Available to new & existing customers, residing in NI, purchasing an additional line (excluding business customers) via Vodafone NI retail stores only or through calling the number listed. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers, including trade-in discounts on new devices. 20% off offer ends on 31st May. Specific device pricing shown in advert ends on 31st March.


Soda & Starch go from strength to strength Soda and Starch has been listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland for 2019. The coveted list published by John and Sally McKenna features eight representatives from Northern Ireland including Deanes EIPIC and The Muddlers Club in Belfast and Lost & Found in Coleraine. Since 1992, when the very first edition appeared, John and Sally McKenna’s 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland has celebrated, championed and offered critical analysis of the best restaurants throughout Ireland, North and South. The McKenna’s 100 Best Restaurants is iconoclastic – it includes food carts,

beachside shacks, and tiny rooms, as well as grand theatres for eating – and the list has consistently interpreted and defined what modern, creative Irish cooking is, and what it can achieve. The seasonal menus at Soda and Starch feature both classic and contemporary dishes with a strong allegiance to local produce. Commenting on its most recent achievement chef-patron Ray Moran says: “The Soda and Starch experience is underpinned by a passion for using high quality, seasonal ingredients from carefully sourced local

suppliers to create delicious authentic cuisine, rooted in Irish cooking traditions and accompanied by huge helpings of our Legenderry hospitality! Now open Monday-Saturday. Soda and Starch is a partnership between Raymond Moran and local entrepreneur Ciaran O’Neill, Managing Director of the award-winning Bishop’s Gate Hotel.

In the heart of the Craft Village

£14 for 2 courses Now Open Monday - Saturday 20

To book, please call 028 7l 37l635 Email:


meet the board Brian McGrath Londonderry Port & Harbour & President Brian is President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and Chief Executive of Foyle Port Brian was elected as the 76th President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce in December 2018, previously serving as the Chamber’s Vice President. During his time as President, Brian’s focus for his Presidency will be to support the members of the Chamber by providing strong guidance and leadership. He was appointed as the Chief Executive and Harbour Commissioner of Foyle Port in 2003. Prior to his current role, Brian was the Director of Harland and Wolff and has extensive experience in ship design, project management and maritime economics. He is a Chartered Director, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Brian is also a former Council Member of the British Ports Association and the Confederation of British Industries. He is currently a Board Member of the Northern Ireland Council of the Prince’s Trust.

Redmond McFadden Danske Bank & Vice President Redmond is Regional Manager of Danske Bank in the northwest and Vice President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, as well as past President of Londonderry Junior Chamber Redmond is a career banker, having joined the industry in 1986 and worked through most roles to his current

position. His time in banking has allowed him to gain a wealth of experience across the banking sectors including Branch Banking, Business and Corporate Banking, and Mortgage Services. He has worked throughout Northern Ireland but is delighted to be now based in Derry-Londonderry. He has a keen interest in supporting the business community in the northwest and has given his experience on the boards of Noribic, Limavady College and NW Board of Young Enterprise. He has also been on the board of Foyle Foodbank and has worked to fundraise for Children In Crossfire.

Jennifer McKeever Airporter Jennifer McKeever is Past President of the Londonderry Chamber and Managing Director of the Airporter coach service, connecting passengers between Derry-Londonderry and the Belfast airports. Over more than 20 years in business, Airporter has carried 1.5 million passengers. Airporter is an award-winning industry leader, with a reputation for excellence in customer service and for the use of innovation in transport. In 2018 Airporter invested £1 million pounds in a customized base with a view to expansion and development. Airporter is a World Host recognized business, and is accredited in Investors in People (Silver Award). Jennifer is also Chair of the Tourism Skills group of Derry City and Strabane District Council and is a frequent contributor to issues relating to connectivity, infrastructure and tourism. As President of the Chamber in 2018 she had the opportunity to represent Chamber on Brexit related issues to

British and Irish government, and participated on delegations to Brussels and Westminster on Brexit and City Deals.

Andrew Fleming Fleming Steel After graduating Andrew worked with AECOM in London and York before acting as project manager for a major infrastructure project with Transit New Zealand in Auckland. Since returning home in 2007 Andrew has continued as the fifth generation to run Fleming Engineering in St Johnston, Donegal. Fleming Engineering has provided engineering solutions since 1860, specialising in the provision of steel distribution, powder coating and roller doors services to the construction and agri sectors. In 2012 Fleming Engineering expanded into Northern Ireland through the acquisition of Norwest Roofing Systems (Omagh). Andrew negotiated Fleming Engineering through a significant restructuring process in the aftermath of the economic downturn and today the company employs over 35 staff in the northwest. Andrew is also heavily involved in the promotion and administration of Cricket in Ireland. Andrew joined the Board of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce in 2016 and draws on his experience within the transport sector, family business, and the sports industry.



Damien Gallagher Seagate Technology Damien is Executive Director of Engineering at the Seagate Technology facility in Derry. He joined the company in 1994, and has held a number of positions in Process Engineering, Technology Transfer, Product Analysis and Six Sigma business improvement. Since 2004 he has led the Process Engineering team of around 200 scientists, engineers and technicians engaged in product development and volume manufacturing of recording heads for computer hard drives. The Springtown facility is one of only five such sites in the world. Damien is a native of this city, returning home when Seagate set up their facility in 1994. He is a non-executive director of Irish Manufacturing Research, a cross-sector organisation supporting advanced manufacturing in Ireland. He is also currently a member of CBI Northern Ireland Regional Council.

Dawn McLaughlin Dawn McLaughlin accountants Dawn is the principal of the progressive, award winning accountancy practice, Dawn McLaughlin & Co. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (FCA) and has a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Economics. Dawn trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse where she managed the SME department in the North West branch before establishing her own practice.

Member Services Committee of the Ulster Society of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland as the NW representative and a member of the Board of the local leadership team of Business in the Community. She was founder member of the Support My Business NI Initiative providing mentoring and workshops on a pro bono basis to Northern Ireland businesses.

Donna Moran MORAN’S Retail Ltd Donna is a director of Moran’s Retail Ltd, alongside her husband John. Independent retailers, they have a Centra store in the Strand Road, a Centra store in Coleraine and a SuperValu supermarket in Ballykelly. Donna is passionate about business because that is what she has been brought up with. She has worked in retail for her entire life as her father owned a petrol station on the Buncrana Road. She managed her father’s exhaust centre, educating herself in all things car related, joined forces with her tyre centre manager husband John and bought over her father’s business. They started in 1986 with their tyre and exhaust centre on the Strand Road. They rebranded it in 2004 to Breico - bringing in the letters of their three children’s names - and in 1996 opened the Strand Road petrol station. They have been at the Strand Road for 21 years now. They knocked down the store in July 2018 and the much anticipated new building will open again in March. Donna says she is a people person and is very passionate about her staff as well as her customers. She says her ethos is ‘without great staff, we wouldn’t have great customers coming in the door’.

For the past 34 years Dawn has specialised in advising locally owned and managed SME’s throughout the UK and Ireland.

Gavin Killeen

Dawn is currently Chair of the Chartered Accountants North West Network, she has been the Chair of the Institute of Management - NW Ulster Branch, a member of the Regional Board for Northern Ireland and also on the

Gavin is Managing Director of Nuprint Technologies Limited who lead the way in Irish design and print, specialising in the manufacture of premium quality commercial and industrial labels.


Nuprint Technologies

As Managing Director, Gavin has responsibility for all aspects of the business and in the last two years has spearheaded an investment of over £2.5m in state-of-the-art equipment as well as an extensive staff training programme resulting in 42% growth in 2017. He has been Deputy Lieutenant County Borough of Londonderry, Co-Chair Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) Strategic Growth Partnership, Chairman of Education and Skills Implementation Group, DCSDC, President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce in 2016, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors: NWRC and Foyle College, Member of Department of Employment and Learning Expert Panel reviewing Apprenticeships and Youth Training Member Rotary Club of Londonderry since 2007 and President 2012/13 and VP of City of Derry Rugby Football Club

George Fleming Fleming Agri Products George is Chairman of Fleming Agri-Products Ltd. On leaving Foyle College in 1973, George started working in the family agricultural engineering business in St Johnston in Co Donegal, experiencing all aspects of practical and management roles within the business. In 1983 Fleming Agri Products was established in Newbuildings with George taking sole control in 1988. Embracing new product design alongside modern production technology to develop a range of innovative farm machinery products, George steered and developed the company to the forefront of the agricultural machinery market in the UK and Ireland as well as developing new export markets in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. George is a past President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce in 2017.

Julie Pollock Consult HR Julie Pollock owns Consult HR. After spending 12 years working for a large manufacturing company and


heading up the HR Department, she was expecting baby number four and facing redundancy.

Padraig Canavan

Shortly after this she launched Consult HR, specialising in helping managers and business owners with their staffing problems. The company is in their 10th year of business and have a built a strong reputation based on client satisfaction, stopping clients making costly mistakes and providing instant solutions to staffing queries being our strengths.

Padraig founded independent software vendor Singularity in 1994, grew it to 250 people. The company’s HQ was in Derry with offices in London, New York, Singapore and Hyderabad India, Singularity was acquired by Californian software technologist Kofax in 2011.Padraig now chairs Hunter Apparel Solutions in Derry, FlowForma in Dublin, Scattr in Derry, LitheIT in Glasgow, Magee expansion lobby group U4D and, for the DC&SD Council, the Learning Cities Initiative.

Julie volunteers on a number of boards locally and just recently joined the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce Board. She has a keen interest in the difficulties that employers are currently facing which are having a detrimental impact on their bottom line.

He also sits on the boards of InvestNI, the NWRC, St Mary’s College and Verbal. He is a member of the council’s Education and Skills Group, City Deal partnership.

Louise McElvaney

He is a past board member of the NI Software Industry Federation, FOSEC, CultureTECH, Oakgrove Integrated PS and Ergo in Dublin.

Learning Pool Louise is Director of People and Performance at Learning Pool She started her career in the financial industry with Bank of Ireland and Deutsche Bank, in a variety of roles before moving to HML in Derry in 2004 in an operational process role. Louise has been with Learning Pool since its foundation, taking up a full time role seven years ago to prepare the business for scalable growth, create a people-oriented approach and deliver world class customer service. Since then the business has achieved sustained growth of 400 per cent. She led Learning Pool’s listing on the Sunday Times Best Small Companies in 2016 and 2017, gained two star ‘outstanding’ employee engagement in the Best Companies awards in 2018 and 2019 and was project lead for Learning Pool’s current gold accreditation status with Investors in People. Louise has board level responsibility for finance, human resources and legal and acts as company secretary for the Board of Directors.

He was Chamber President from 2010 to 2012 and received an OBE in 2009 for services to NI industry. He is an active technology angel investor.

Paul Curtis Curtis Opticians Paul is an optometrist and partner in Curtis Opticians. He returned home in 1997, after training and working in London, and became a partner in the family business in 1999, the third generation to do so. Curtis Opticians, based in Carlisle Road, is a multi award winning independent opticians originally established in 1928 by Harold P Curtis. Curtis Opticians provide eye care and optical services to all sectors from both sides of the border, including corporate, private, NHS, and the HSE in Donegal.

Steven Lindsay Cavanagh Kelly Steven is a Director with Cavanagh Kelly, Chartered Accountants.

Steven qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988. In 1994 Steven joined the Western Health and Social Services Board (WHSSB) as Chief Internal Auditor. He then became Director of Finance and Information, and in 2000 was appointed as WHSSB Chief Executive. From 2006 – 2017, Steven was a partner with mid-tier accountancy practice, establishing and leading the firm’s Consultancy and Internal Audit division. He was also Managing partner of the firm from 2010- 2017. Steven is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, a qualified Executive coach and and holds a BSSc in Accounting and Economics. He was a Trustee of Age NI from 2007 – 2017, a member of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce from 2006 – 2016 and is currently a Trustee with Verbal Group and a Governor with Foyle College.

Eighrean Horner Junior Chamber of Commerce Eighrean is Junior Chamber President and Branch Manager at Bank of Ireland UK. She has been an active member of Junior Chamber since 2014 and took over as President in December 2018. Junior Chamber locally is a growing network of professionals which ‘Empowers Young People to create positive change’ through business development, personal growth, active citizenship and international opportunity. She has been an employee with Bank of Ireland since 2006 and has a wealth of experience in financial products, relationship management, business development and leadership. She is Branch Manager in Limavady and also Business Development Manager throughout the North West region. She plays an integral part in assisting Bank of Ireland to fulfil its purpose of enabling customers, colleagues and communities to thrive.



Brian McGrath President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and Mark Carruthers broadcaster.

CHAMBER LIFE It’s been a hectic few months for the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. Never let it be said that Chamber were afraid to tackle the pressing issues head on. With Brexit constantly on the horizon and uncertainty caused by our lack of government

Aodhan Connolly, Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, Mark Carruthers,broadcaster, Brian McGrath, President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Bryson and Peter Curran from Eversheds Sutherland.

pressing on everyone’s minds, Chamber were there to help businesses fearlessly navigate a successful and prosperous future. Chamber, in partnership with EURES Cross Border Partnership, hosted a lunch time seminar in Bishop’s Gate Hotel for SME’s on employment incentives and support available in the cross border region. Joe Lavery,Co-ordinator Eures Cross Border Partnership, Mary Mullan, Department for Communities, Alison Currie, InterTrade Ireland, Jennifer McKeever, former Chamber President, Dr Fergal Duffy, NWRC and Carol Kelly, Eures Advisor and Operations Manager, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.


This event was held to encourage SME’s in the region to interact and benefit from free EURES recruitment services and through that support, increase recruitment on a crossborder basis.

Attendees were also provided with information and advice from a range of business development organisations on programmes and services available in the north west region. On December 13th we held our Annual General Meeting in the Playhouse in Artillery Street. It was our 133rd AGM and we used the evening to review Chamber business for 2018. We also appointed key positions for the ensuing year, including Brian McGrath of Foyle Port as our new Chamber President for 2019.


As we entered the New Year with vigour and enthusiasm we held our first Essential Minutes Workshop at our Bishop Street Chamber offices. The theme of the sold out event on January 15th was ‘Top five Mistakes That Businesses Make When Managing Staff’. Julie Pollock from Consult HR delivered a session helping managers and business owners with the day to day struggles of managing staff. The next day, on January 16th, we held our Authentic Leadership Through Mindfulness Course, also at the Chamber offices in Bishop Street. Helen McDonnell of IndigoLife Coaching joined us once again to run her highly successful six-week mindfulness for business course, which also sold out quickly. Participants were encouraged to develop their mindfulness practice outside of classes and incorporate into their everyday living. Our third Essential Minutes Workshop was Making Tax Digital which took place on the 26th February and was delivered by Dawn McLaughlin & Co. This workshop also proved popular and was sold out. This involved an interactive session on how HMRC’s digitisation programme will impact businesses and advice was given to attendees on actions that they need to take now. In February we held our hugely successful #WellCONNECTED cross border speed networking event at An Grianan Hotel in Burt, Co Donegal. Our first #WellCONNECTED speed networking session for 2019, it was exceptionally well attended by businesses from both sides of the border.

#WellCONNECTED Cross Border Networking.

Our speed networking events provide one of the most effective ways to develop member connections, and promotion of business to business trade and the positive feedback from the event was phenomenal. On 8 March, the Chamber, in association with Eversheds Sutherland, hosted a Business Breakfast on ‘Brexit: What’s Next?’ in the City Hotel. With the UK on the verge of leaving the EU without a deal, over 100 attendees listened to broadcaster Mark Carruthers chair a lively Q&A with panellists Brian McGrath, the President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and Chief of Foyle Port, Aodhán Connolly, the Director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium and Lisa Bryson, a Partner and Brexit expert at Eversheds Sutherland. Attendees also heard from Peter Curran, a Partner from Eversheds Sutherland, about the legal implications for businesses, trade and people, right across Northern Ireland and specifically on the North West City Region. Throughout the lively event, the border was certainly the word that was on everyone’s lips. The panel members unpacked some of the facts and myths about Brexit and

highlighted the importance of securing the softest Brexit possible, and the implications of a no deal. The attendees, from right across the business community, made it clear that there must be a continuation of the frictionless border so that people and business, especially in the North West City Region, can continue to do what they do every day.

Look Forward There will be a Eures Cross Border Tax Breakfast Briefing in collaboration with Letterkenny Chamber on Wednesday May 1st, from 9am-10.30am This seminar will be facilitated by Rose Tierney of Tierney Tax Consultancy who will provide cross border workers and employers with information on social security and tax issues such as redundancy payments, pension lump sums, tax relief on pension contributions, tax requirements for cross border workers, social insurance benefits and pensions in a cross-border situation.


President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, John Healy, BBC presenter, Jo Scott, comedian Tim McGarry, President of the Derry Chamber of Commerce, Brian McGrath and Business Acquisitions Manager from First Trust Bank, Stephen Comer at the local Chamber of Commerce’s annual President’s Lunch.

President’s Annual Lunch Guests at the annual Londonderry Chamber of Commerce President’s Lunch were told that the time is right to push for and implement a City Deal for Derry-Londonderry. Speaking at the glittering ceremony in the city’s Everglades Hotel, President Brian McGrath said that members were unanimous in their desire to see greater investment in the northwest region. “The absence of a functioning assembly at Stormont coupled with the possibility of a no deal Brexit is seriously impacting on business and civic society across the northwest city region. Our members are telling us that they want to see greater investment in the northwest and a City Deal to stimulate connectivity and growth. “A City Deal must work for the whole of the northwest city tegion. One that recognises that we operate across a wide region and have members that both live, work and travel on both sides of the border. It must recognise our unique location and our interwoven lives. “We will continue to work closely with Derry City and Strabane District Council and other partners to make that vision a reality.


Chamber staff Caroline Murphy, Carol Kelly, Lorraine Allen and Mairead Reid with special guest Tim McGarry and President Brian McGrath

“I am particularly encouraged today to have the support of First Trust Bank, as well the NI Chamber. It is through this network with other businesses and stakeholders that harnesses our potential here in the northwest by working together to secure a city region deal that works for everyone.” The invited audience also heard from

the Vice President and Managing Director of Allstate in Northern Ireland, John Healy, who is also the President of the NI Chamber this year. He said that he wanted to send out a strong message of unity. “Today we send a powerful message to our members that both chambers are working together, fighting on their


Amanda Creagh, Denise McLaughlin and Grainne O’Doherty of The Waterfoot Hotel

Jo Scott MC and President Brian McGrath

behalf and representing their business needs,” he said. “The northwest region is a place that Allstate recognises as one that has talent, ability and drive in abundance, which is why we have invested in creating jobs and employment in Derry-Londonderry and Strabane. “I am acutely aware of the pressures that are being faced across the region and the direct impact that these are having upon businesses here. However, despite the pressures, the northwest is a place to do business and we are fully supportive of the bid for a City Deal that would undoubtedly create more opportunities.” Stephen Comer, Business Acquisitions Manager with First Trust Bank, who sponsored the President’s Lunch, said he was heartened by the positivity shining through from Chamber members.

Guest enjoying President’s Annual Lunch at the Everglades Hotel

“The city has undergone a big transformation in recent years, but we still have a lot of work to do,” he said. “It is heartening to see the Chamber look ahead to a City Deal, despite the difficulties posed by Brexit. It is this determination and drive that will make the region’s economy grow and we need that positive outlook in the challenging weeks that lie ahead. “First Trust is fully behind a City Deal bid for the region because we understand the transformative effect it could have on the city and the businesses who operate here.” The lunch was hosted by BBC Presenter Jo Scott and compèred by the Blame Game’s Tim McGarry.

Past Presidents of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce



EHA unveil stunning London apartments Eglinton based EHA Group last month handed over the newest phase of highly acclaimed luxury apartments in one of London’s plushest neighbourhoods. Phase two of the Catcher Building, which completed the 31 apartment project by EHA, was released in February. Located on Rye Lane, Peckham, it is now one of the most sought after locations to live in the capital city. Named as the best place to live in London by The Sunday Times and the 11th Coolest Neighbourhood in the World by Time


Out Worldwide, the Catcher building’s collection of two and three bedroom apartments more than live up to SE15’s illustrious reputation.

The first phase of the project included the strip-out of an existing office building to create 23 new luxury apartments. This phase included a new façade and floor to ceiling windows on the four storey building. Phase two saw the creation of an extra eight luxury units within a new build steel frame. Both phases were expertly designed by Belfast based Calico Architects. Immaculately finished, the interiors of the apartment scheme perfectly marry Peckham Rye’s vibrant character with a modern sleekness.


An extreme attention to detail is displayed throughout with bespoke joinery fittings and furniture, crafted by EHA’s joinery division. Manufactured in Eglinton, all kitchens, doors and architraves exceed the high expectations of this London district. Set back from Rye Lane, the Catcher building enjoys a specification that sets the bar for modern city living.

From the stylishly designed kitchens and bathrooms to the engineered oak flooring, every detail of the spacious apartments have been skilfully delivered for the very best living experience. Find out more about EHA’s work at:



MCDONALD’S BRINGS NEW LOOK RESTAURANT TO FOYLESIDE WITH VIBRANT AND VISIONARY CHANGES Following significant investment, the McDonald’s restaurant in the Foyleside Shopping Centre has reopened. Technology is at the heart of the refurbishment with digital innovations including five self-order kiosks which improve the speed and ease of ordering, 8 interactive tablets and the new mobile app service is now also available at the restaurant. The Foyleside customer care team is on hand to take customers through the new kiosk ordering system ensuring that they can browse the menu, look at nutritional information and personalise their meals. Commenting on the re-opening David Walker (Franchisee) said, “Since opening our first restaurant here at Foyleside in September 1995 we now employ over 350 people working at Strand Road, Crescent Link, Strabane and Foyleside. We continue to strive to satisfy all our


made to order for customers, with every order being freshly prepared. The Signature Collection is also an exciting new addition to our menu. All of these changes are designed to make our customers’ experience as positive as possible and we are very much looking forward to welcoming all customers to the new restaurant”.

customers with our attention to quality and service. As a company we are committed to harnessing digital innovation to provide our customers with the food they want, when and how they want it In the kitchens, new lay-outs and increased technology ensures McDonald’s iconic products will be

Over the past 23 years McDonalds have been involved with and supported many local community events. These include working in partnership with the Maiden City Soccer FC, holding Community Football events which have attendees from across the North West. . McDonald’s is the longest standing supporter of grassroots football in Northern Ireland and continues to champion those who enable children and young adults to play and enjoy football regardless of gender or ability.

Trim Line


Available at your Local McDonald’s


Subject to availability. © 2018 McDonald’s. 100% Arabica coffee beans, grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.



New digital tax age how to make it a success for accountants and small businesses Over the past few years, the accounting industry has found itself in the middle of a perfect storm. GDPR and Brexit have been at the forefront of the disruption for accountants and their clients. And on April 1, the new HMRC Making Tax Digital system will be added to the mix. Accounting firms are being faced with stark choices in the midst of the biggest change to the UK tax system – go digital or die. With cloud based technology and online systems now dominating the accounting software solutions market, it may be only a matter of time before the inefficiency of using desktop-based software or excel spreadsheets takes its toll. Cloud 360 Accounting were the first cloud accounting firm in Northern Ireland when it was set up way back in June 2010. The founder, Kieran Phelan, is a chartered accountant who has focused on a systems-based approach to delivering high quality services to small business clients, using Xero and other cloud accounting tools and apps to ensure quick turnaround for the firm’s clients and customers. As the first ever Xero Certified Advisor in Northern Ireland, Kieran has a wealth of knowledge and experience in everything to do with ‘the cloud’ and online accounting systems. Cloud 360 Accounting use Xero for all clients, coupled with apps


such as Receipt Bank, Float and GoCardless. The firm is perfectly positioned to move all its VAT registered clients to the new Making Tax Digital system with HMRC with relative ease and no disruption to their businesses. What makes the team at Cloud 360 Accounting so different from a traditional accountancy practice model in the focus on output instead of input. Many traditional firms still focus on hours spent on client work as a method of measuring the efficiency, effectiveness and value of the work done. Cloud systems introduce a huge range of automation and time saving features which will cut down massively on time spent on client work. Making Tax Digital for VAT kicks off on 1 st April 2019 and will require those affected to file VAT returns using ‘MTD’ compliant software and to maintain digital records for their business books. The best way to solve these problems is to adopt a cloud accounting solution so that VAT returns can be prepared digitally, can communicate with

Kieran Phelan, Cloud 360 Accounting

HMRC’s new MTD portal to file VAT returns and to receive messages from HMRC regarding the VAT affairs of the business. Kieran now offers a digital transformation programme to accountancy practices across the province. The programme involves working with the owners and their team to provide practical advice, guidance and tips on how to take their firms and their clients forward in this new digital age, with follow up session to stay on track. He has already completed this service for a firm in Enniskillen who were delighted with the results, and more firms are now contacting Cloud 360 Accounting to start the process for themselves. If you would like to speak to Kieran about how to adopt cloud accounting for your business or for your accountancy practice, feel free to contact Cloud 360 Accounting on 028 7135 9028 or email him directly


O’Neills building on history and success in new city store The O’Neills brand is recognised worldwide but has its historic and manufacturing roots here in the northwest. With the opening of their new store in Derry-Londonderry last Summer, O’Neills - the largest manufacturer of sportswear in Ireland which has a long and strong relationship with Irish rugby, soccer and GAA - has added yet another success to their famous story. Thirty one of the 32 county GAA teams take to the pitch every week wearing O’Neills branded gear. The company now employ some 900 people throughout Ireland. Seven hundred of those employees are based at their Strabane manufacturing hub, a further 200 work out of Dublin and across their array of superstores. Kieran Kennedy is the Managing Director. He has worked for O’Neills for 40 years and is fiercely proud of the history, achievements and success of the company and vows it will continue to go from strength to strength. “Our Derry store opened in July of last year and was our sixth shop in Northern Ireland,” he says. “We have superstores in Strabane, Belfast, Newry, Enniskillen and Magherafelt. Shortly after we opened our Derry store we opened our Craigavon one too and we refurbished our Newry store.”

The opening of the O’Neills store in Derry-Londonderry

Keiran says it was important for the company to open a store in Derry-Londonderry. “We wanted to have a presence in Derry city,” he says. “We felt that a lot of people had to travel to Magherafelt or Strabane. There is a great support for our products in the northwest and we felt it was the right time and the right place. “We are very happy with the Derry shop. I think one of our main objectives is to let people know where we are and this is not just O’Neills products that we sell. There is a huge diversity of products for all ages and genders.” The O’Neills store employ 50 people in full time and part time positions. Kieran says that the future is bright at the city centre store and beyond for the company.

The interior of O’Neills store on Waterloo Place

“We are trying to get more brand awareness,” he says. “We have done a lot of work with a number of organisations in this city and will continue to do so.

“We have agreed a sponsorship deal with the Ryan McBride Foundation to sponsor the Sixes Tournament which will be held in the Brandywell in May. “We have also signed a deal to be the headline sponsor for this year’s Walled City Marathon. Competitors will come to the store and pick up their gear and numbers, so we are very excited about that. “We also sponsor the Foyle Cup, which is now the O’Neills Foyle Cup, which brings thousands of visitors to the city. “I think that it’s important for us to give something back and support the community. At the end of the day it is the local community who are supporting us, who allow us to employ 700 people in Strabane and sell our products worldwide. Without the support from the community that we have, we wouldn’t have the success that we have had.” For more information, log on to



TerraMar making strides in global business From its offices in the city centre TerraMar Networks monitors the performance of clients’ assets, from vehicles and ships to oil rigs and people – right across the globe. At first glance, there may not be much to link Northern Ireland with Alaska, but the innovative software integration company, which has become a leading provider of fleet intelligence solutions across the world, can trace its own journey back to the largest, and most remote, US state. Today, this award-winning company’s expertise spans a range of sectors including mining, haulage, commercial maritime, offshore oil and gas and aviation - but its origins lie in the transport of bulk fuel by barge on Alaskan rivers. Founded in the US in 1998, with the Northern Ireland dimension springing to life in 2007, the company provided remote asset management, tracking cargo trailers and containers using satellite, cellular and VHF radio systems - a relatively new service at the time. Fast-forward to the 21st Century and its web-based software ‘tracpoint’ can be accessed via computer, tablet or smartphone - and is able to provide up-to-the-minute data on anything from a fleet of ships at sea to the exact position of a stolen vehicle in Central Africa. Last year the company made a bold relocation from Greysteel to the heart of


Tony Connolly, Commercial Manager at TerraMar

the city centre, and the thriving hub of software development and digital technology at the City Factory. Tony Connolly is the company’s Commercial Manager and says at their Patrick Street hub they manage data that is constantly flowing in from across the globe, from local locations like Belfast, Dublin and Cork, to the more far-flung Haiti, Nigeria, Kenya and the Philippines. “We are problem solvers,” he said. “That is essentially what we do. We use GPS technology to collect and distribute live data to clients who are

running remote operations.” “We’re also very export-oriented and international in terms of the work we do now. Most of our revenue comes from commercial vehicle fleets, but we’ve been growing rapidly in vertical markets, such as maritime and humanitarian aid and development, within the last five years or so. We now support customers in North and South America, across Africa and the Middle East through to Central and Southern Asia.” “Whilst we continue to add customers in an array of different


it’s all about helping organisations run safer, more efficient and more cost-effective fleets sectors, the growth in the last few years is really in live vehicle tracking and wider fleet management, specifically around helping businesses and organisations plan, record and monitor maintenance programmes, helping them make sure their fleets are compliant.” TerraMar help business from small local companies with locations throughout Ireland to those working across more than 50 countries. Tony says the challenges faced by each are completely different but that they tackle it all with a dedicated and experienced team.

TerraMar workshop

“We have constantly built on the success we have had,” he says. “It’s been organic growth. We haven’t had massive investment, so we’ve had to grow at a pace where we were able to self-fund. We employed five new people last year and we immediately need to grow by another three. The last three years we have delivered 20 per cent yearon-year growth and we expect to do the same this year. “ “We are always working hard to integrate new technology and develop new features. Our traditional approach is to use the information we collect from a range of asset-types to help customers identify where they can drive improvement. We’re now trialling technology that will not just collect that information but will also help us impose some control on the vehicle behaviour.” Tony says Derry-Londonderry was the best centre for the company, who employ 17 staff, including employees in Wales and in South Africa. “We have assembled a really good team of people who are now highly experienced in working with technology that is still pretty specialist. “We manage millions of individual messages coming at us from thousands of assets every day. That puts us firmly in the “big data”

Development Team at TerraMar

world, so a big part of what we are doing, via our bespoke back-office system and our web-based software, is finding better ways of extracting, storing, and presenting all of that data in a highly efficient and organised way. We’re processing it quickly, making it available in real time, and adding strategic value to it for our customers. “Broadly speaking, the focus in TerraMar is on two things…our people, and our customers, and we want to do the very best for both. We have worked hard at and are getting better at recruiting the right people. It’s important for us that there’s a buzz around the office. We want everyone to contribute in a meaningful way, and to enjoy their work and to feel that they’re an important part

of the team. Our move to Patrick Street was all about our people. We wanted to provide good offices, with top class facilities (e.g. everyone has a stand-up/ sit-down desk), in a good location. We want everyone to feel good about coming to work. We aspire to be a destination employer…we want to be a company that people want to work for. “Derry is a great city, with a vibrant and energetic technology sector. It has a good feel to it and we want to tap into and contribute to that.” For more information on TerraMar Networks log on to



KWG announce exciting scholarship programme Kevin Watson Group KWG have launched an exciting three year scholarship programme for potential candidates interested in working in the built environment and construction industry. Four candidates aged between 18 and 25-years-old have been selected to take part in their Trainee Site Manager Programme, which is an earn as you learn programme over a three year period, and started their new posts in September. They are based on KWG sites across Northern Ireland under the supervision of the Site Management Team, gaining invaluable site experience and will start to undertake their NVQ qualifications in September of this year. KWG’s unique approach and tailored programme will help the candidates gain professional qualifications as they earn on the job. By achieving NVQ Level 6 Site Management qualification they will continue to work on KWG sites to gain experience as Construction Site Managers. Unlike most qualifications, the NVQ takes place mainly at work and KWG will deliver the training on site and in a classroom environment with assessments and interviews being part of the course content. The company saw a gap in the market for obtaining trainee site managers and decided to take the initiative by customising and delivering an inhouse programme. This is an excellent opportunity for the successful candidates who will be earning a wage and at the same time gaining qualifications and experience in their chosen careers as site managers. For more information, log on to

Bright sparks at NWRC receive £45K from SSE Airtricity Scholarship Fund Eighteen bright spark students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) associated subjects at North West Regional College have been awarded bursaries totalling £45,000 from the SSE Airtricity Scholarship Fund. This is the fifth year of the scholarship fund, which is run by SSE Airtricity, Northern Ireland’s largest renewable energy generator, and this year it is supporting more scholars than ever before. The fund supports students living close to the company’s wind farms in Tyrone, Derry-Londonderry and Fermanagh, and provides 50 per cent funding support towards the cost of third level fees for students commencing first year studies in STEM-associated subjects at partner colleges. The students, who each received a scholarship worth £2,500, are currently in the process of completing Higher Level education courses in a range of areas that include Computing, Engineering, Multimedia and Journalism, Science, and the Built Environment. The scholarships were presented to the students in February at a special presentation event at NWRC’s Flying Clipper Restaurant at Strand Road campus, and were awarded for excellence in academic career to date and demonstration of knowledge and professional aspiration in a STEM related discipline. Danny Laverty, Head of Science, Technology and Creative Industries at NWRC said: “The college is delighted that 18 of our students have each been presented with a prestigious SSE Airtricity Scholarship, which helps to finance the Higher Education Learning of local learners. “NWRC offers a number of Higher Education STEM courses at our five campuses across the North West, which are an attractive proposition for local school leavers.


Cora, Grace & Victoria

We believe passionately that as many students as possible should have access to third level education, and the funding support made available to our students from SSE Airtricity through its Scholarship programme will have a hugely positive impact on the lives of young people and our community in the North West.” Donal Gormley from SSE Airtricity said: “We are delighted to be able to provide financial support for the students at North West Regional College through the SSE Airtricity Scholarship Fund. The programme has been an incredible success, with demand growing each year and more than 100 students already benefiting from the fund. North West Regional College joining the programme this year highlights the value and benefits of the scholarship fund, and the important role it plays for local students. “At SSE, we are committed to bringing as much added value as possible to communities around our wind farms, and the Scholarship is having a direct and positive impact on the lives of these young people as they begin their studies. Hopefully the support for these 18 students, along with the rest of the 2018 recipients, will help them succeed in their ambitions for the future.” NWRC offers a range of full and part time courses in a number of STEM disciplines.


Apprenticeships: the way forward for our young people Derry City and Strabane District Council are leading a successful joint campaign ‘Get Paid, Get Qualified & Get Ahead’ to increase the uptake of Apprenticeships by businesses and individuals. The Strategic Growth Plan for Derry and Strabane Council sets out a long-term economic plan to improve social, economic and environmental well-being for all. A key target in the plan relates to enhancing skills particularly for those with no or low skills.

To deliver on this - working together and pooled resources by organisations is needed to bring Apprenticeships back to where they belong - at the heart of the education and training system. The aim is to rebuild a sense of pride in young people, and give businesses the skills they need to drive growth and prosperity. In order to create jobs and opportunities for the next generation an investment in apprenticeships is nneded to ensure young people are best placed to take advantage

Victoria Pratt, Customer Service Apprenticeship, Russell’s Clothing.

of any opportunities that arise for them. Working in partnership with NWRC, Careers Service and local private training organisations the aim is to target young people with GCSE Equivalency to Foundation Degree level

apprenticeships and provide individuals with debt-free, on-the-job training, qualifications and a salary. To find out more about apprenticeships visit

Find out more



37 15/02/2019 10:19:37


Meet our MBAs Growing and nurturing local leadership talent with global ambitions is a core aim of the Executive MBA programme at Ulster University’s Magee campus. Two exceptional leaders from the North West take some time out from their busy careers to reflect and explain more about their Executive MBA learning journey.

What part of the course did you enjoy most? I enjoyed the practical modules working with the local council. These modules forced me outside my comfort zone and I learned a lot. The MBA challenged me to think differently and being able to research areas such as Marketing, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Leadership has helped me very much to shape my career.

How has the Executive MBA helped your career? The MBA has been invaluable in terms of shaping my career. The study equipped me with the research and confidence to take control of my career and know which aspects of leadership and culture are important to me when making career choices.

Danielle Francis

Workday Integrations Analyst with OneSource Virtual

Why did you choose to study the Executive MBA? My background is mostly technical, so I had an interest in the bigger picture when it comes to business and operations. I like typical “right and wrong” answers and my experience is in software development and project management. I thought the MBA would give me a better appreciation of wider business and management functions. I knew the MBA would challenge me to think differently and it has certainly done that!

What attracted you to the Ulster University Business School at Magee? As a past graduate of UU, I had a great experience and was delighted to return for the Executive MBA. In addition, the MBA at Magee is very accessible and the delivery format suited my life with both a full time job and a young child. I needed a course that would fit around my personal life and the block learning appealed to me for that very reason. The MBA was also recommended by colleagues, so it was good to know people who completed the course and thought very highly of it.


What advice would you offer a person starting the Executive MBA? Don’t overthink it and just do it! The time you spend thinking about it could be a semester completed. Be conscious of the commitment but embrace it, as it will challenge you to think differently and appreciate new ways of thinking. I’m glad I did it and as I look forward to graduating – I can say that I’ll miss it!

everything is possible through hard work.

What attracted you to the Ulster University Business School at Magee? Personally, with a very busy job role involving extensive periods of global travel, the flexibility of the MBA was fantastic. Being from the North West, and working internationally, it was a great way to keep in touch with my local business community and colleagues. On a practical basis the Executive MBA was very competitive in comparison with other leading universities and delivered locally in modern teaching facilities at the Magee campus.

What part of the course did you enjoy most? There is a strong emphasis on the development of personal skills. As a result of this, I have become a better listener and a better leader. There is a great mix of people from different career pathways and perspectives. I am proud to say that the people I met along my MBA journey will remain good friends.

How has the Executive MBA helped your career? The MBA has certainly positioned me for further success within both my current role and future career. MBAs are a highly recognised qualification within the corporate world, in particular around the area of leadership giving you a more comprehensive and holistic view of the entire business environment.

What advice would you offer a person starting the Executive MBA?

Gavin Henderson

Vice President MasterCard Operations & Technology Department that supports the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Why did you choose to study the Executive MBA? An MBA means global recognition of your experience, business and management credentials especially in the corporate world. It helps to build your career and increase your business credibility. It has also been a personal ambition to achieve academic success and demonstrate to my children that

Keep focused and don’t give up, you will get there in the end. At the Magee campus there is lots of support from the course team, lecturers, librarians, technical staff and fellow MBAs providing all the encouragement you need along the way. Then listen, learn and lead! Applications are currently being accepted for the next programme intake which begins in September 2019. It is important to note that applicants do not require an undergraduate qualification as five years’ experience at managerial level will also fulfil entry requirements. To find out more about the Executive MBA contact Edel Griffin, MBA Course Director, Ulster University Business School Magee campus

Executive MBA Leadership Development Programme APPLY NOW NEXT INTAKE SEPTEMBER 2019 The Executive MBA is designed to support managers from across the North West offering flexible modules delivered in block format. Further Information: Email: Edel Griffin – 39


Banking on the next generation In an increasingly competitive and global economy, having an adequately skilled workforce is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Since 2015 North West Regional College (NWRC), in partnership with the Department for the Economy, has embarked on a re-energised strategy to develop a highly skilled and motivated Business Support Centre, to support local companies in pursuit of business growth. The Business Support Centre focuses on two main strands - Innovation and Skills. Within the Skills development agenda the college is taking a pivotal role in delivering a skilled workforce to the North West through the successful delivery of a number of preemployment training programmes, guaranteeing a skilled workforce to potential investors interested in bringing jobs to Northern Ireland.

Leading names such as Danske Bank have been able to recruit new employees who have completed the industry-relevant training, and successfully progressed to full-time employment. Just over 2,000 current employees across the region have upskilled through the Skills Focus programme, which offers bespoke professional training programmes for current employers who may have a need to upskill their workforce. Danske Bank who recently announced the creation of 67 new jobs in Derry~Londonderry, have, with the support from the Department for the Economy, collaborated with North West Regional College to deliver high-quality training opportunities, using the Assured Skills Pre-Employment Academy.

North West Regional College lecturers Noelle Devlin and Siobhan McLaughlin pictured with participants of the FintrU Assured Skills Academy.

The first Academy has now been completed, with 18 of the graduates recruited receiving an offer of employment. February 2019 saw the beginning of the second Danske Bank Customer Protection Academy, a four-week programme aimed at equipping graduates from a range of disciplines with the core skills required to pursue a career in the customer protection unit at Danske. North West Regional College delivered a range of topics in line with Danske requirements over the four week period encompassing models of Business Fundamentals, Money Laundering Regulations, Know your Customer, Presentation Skills, Communication Skills/Telephone manner, Soft skills and time management. Nicola Curry Business Development Manager at NWRC’s Business Support Centre explained: “The heart of what we do at the Business Support Centre is focused on supporting local companies to create a skilled workforce. We aim to create a skilled talent pool that can be accessed locally to meet the current recruitment challenges faced by local companies.

John Harkin (middle) Founder and Director of Alchemy Technology Services with successful recruits from the company’s first Academy. Technical Analyst, Jordan Cairns (left) and PMO Analyst, Olivia Skuce (right).


“NWRC has the resources needed to allow employers to acquire the skills they need to make their business successful.

Janice Johnston, Operations Manager, Danske Bank, and Nicola Curry, Business Development Manager at North West Regional College pictured with participants in Danske Bank Pre Employment Assured Skills Academy.

“Training for staff is an important means through which employers can help tackle skill shortages − either those faced through an inability to recruit sufficiently skilled labour, or those that are present in the existing workforce – as well as to generally develop workforce skills to increase productivity and expertise.

As well as helping to recruit a new talent pool of employees, our professional training programmes support the staff development requirements of existing employers which can result in increased productivity for local businesses. “These are delivered in house by our specialised NWRC lecturers across a range of industry areas. “The success of the Assured Skills programme is a testament to the expertise offered by our highly skilled staff and lecturers and the value placed on this training by industry. Other companies that have recently made significant job announcements such as Alchemy Technologies Limited and FinTru are also working closely with the college.

“The Skills & Workforce Development Department within the BSC has primarily focused on developing the talents of those already in work and those seeking to enter employment in order to provide a pipeline of suitably skilled and qualified individuals at all levels to meet employers’ needs, including indigenous companies and inward investment projects. “Skills Focus programmes support, promote, and facilitate collaborative working between business and colleges. Through the programme, NWRC has provided tailored accredited skills interventions to small to medium enterprises to increase the skills levels of their workforce to level 2 and above. Over the past 4 years, NWRC has consistently achieved the targeted budget allocation and supported over 578 companies across a range of sectors. The department has grown year on year, developed innovative curriculum, and engaged with new sectors to increase the level of businesses.

“Programmes include Business Improvement Techniques – Lean Manufacturing, Leadership and Management Development, Building Information Modelling, CAD – Computer Aided Design, Health and Social Care Diplomas, and Customer Care.“ Janice Johnston, Operations Manager at Danske Bank in Shipquay Street said: “Danske Bank is delighted to embark on a second North West Assured Skills Academy in partnership with NWRC, offering 23 local people the chance to gain training and a possible career with the bank as a Customer Protection Analyst, with the help and support of the lecturing staff at the college who provide expert training and skills. “The Department for the Economy’s Assured Skills Academy follows on from the success of the first NW Academy last year which saw 18 of our graduates take up full time positions, and is a signal of our continued commitment to the local area.”



BREXIT PROOF INVESTMENT Imagine an investment project with 250 construction jobs, 350 full time jobs and 650 indirect and induced jobs. Imagine a project that generates a £750m supply chain spend over a 20-25 year period. What if – in addition to all this – it was also Brexit-proof and located on your doorstep?

Brexit Proof Thanks to a quirk of geology, it’s all possible with Dalradian’s plans for an underground gold and silver mine in Curraghinalt, west Tyrone. The deposit is one of the world’s most valuable gold deposits by grade and in a time of Brexit uncertainty, it is one project that can only happen in County Tyrone. The potential negative impact of a no-deal Brexit on the north-west’s economy has been much discussed – Dalradian’s project will still deliver its economic benefits be there ‘no deal’, ‘deal’ or some other Brexit connotation.

upskilling Dalradian has been operating in Northern Ireland since 2009 and has invested £100m so far to help better define the deposit and develop a 10,000 page planning pack which is currently going through the planning process. We’re also committed to ensuring that the vast majority of our employees are drawn from the local area and are developing an upskilling strategy for this purpose. We’ve already organised 70 placements / internships and have engaged with South West College to


implement training programmes.

opportunity Dalradian is proposing an environmentally responsible project that will be economically transformative. You can support it by contacting the Department for Infrastructure via our ‘Build a Support Letter’ at








£4 Million

COMMUNITY FUND COMMITMENT DALRADIAN GOLD LTD. NORTHERN IRELAND OFFICE 67 Main Street Gortin, County Tyrone, BT79 8NH Tel: 028 8164 8012 Email:

New industry for Northern Ireland


World of opportunities opened for UU graduates Employers in the North West can open up a new world of opportunities for young people and themselves through Ulster University’s Graduate Leadership Programme. The programme is a six-month employer led internship, open to 2019 Ulster Graduates, which provides participating Graduates with a monthly bursary, part-funded by both the employer and the university to the total value of £6.600. A Post-Graduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the Programme. Participating businesses and companies will benefit from innovation through the development of new processes and adoption of technologies; customer and sales increases, improvements in quality standards and overall cost-savings.

For participating Graduates, the programme supports transition and progression into graduate level employment and the development of higher Ryan Williams (CEO) Connected Health pictured with UU interns Victoria Withington and Kerrie McLaughlin. level skills through leadership of self, others and strategic projects. commences on 16th September 2019 and runs until 14th March 2020. The University administers all payments Employer contribution for the full six of £1,100 per month to the interns who months is £5,500 in total with the total are required to attend university for up value of the internship to the graduate to five days during the six-month period is £8,567 to complete their postgraduate certificate. Employers can register their interest to participate in the Graduate Leadership There are currently 35 placements Internship Programme via: available through the Graduate Leadership Programme, which



Education ‘passport to success’ says LYIT head Education is ‘a passport for a better life’, says Paul Hannigan, President of Letterkenny Institute of Technology. And he would know. He has been in the education industry for over 30 years and has seen thousands of students better their lives dramatically with qualifications. He now heads up one of the most well respected and popular centres of learning in Ireland. Letterkenny Regional Technical College was set up in 1971. In 1992 it become an autonomous institution and in 1998 Paul became President. Shortly after that they became Letterkenny Institute of Technology, joining forces with the Tourism College in Killybegs in 1997. The college now operates off two campuses in Letterkenny and Killybegs and works closely with educational institutions in Northern Ireland. They have an enrolment of 3,200 full time students and 1,000 part time students. “We have had significant growth over the last 15 to 20 years,” says Paul. “We also have a major incubator centre on campus - CoLab. So we have about 45 businesses working out of there with 150 people employed, mostly graduate employment. It is a very strong connection between the college and the companies. And you can see a network of companies developing there who are working off each other. So that is a real bonus to us.” Paul says it is hugely important to light a spark in people to help them better their lives. “A few things have brought the importance of education home to me,” he says. “If you go back to the late 1990s and you look at Co Donegal specifically at the time, about 75 per cent of people who were eligible to do the Leaving Certificate at the time did it. So a lot of people left school early and went to work in places like Fruit of the Loom. So the


Paul Hannigan, President of Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

completion rate to Leaving Cert was lower than the national average. I’d say everyone who wants to do the Leaving Cert now is doing so in Donegal. “On top of that, the progression from secondary school into higher education has gone off the charts as well in County Donegal . I think what people realise now is that education is a passport to a better future. “Over the last 20 years, we are looking at the major employers coming in employing almost 4,000 people and possibly 60 per cent of them are graduates who came from here. So there is a situation where one feeds the other. Companies come and see that there is a potential source of workers for them, and the students can clearly see that there are routes here if they want to stay local and find a job. So it is a very strong eco-system at the moment. Outside of the major cities in the Republic, this is the biggest tech cluster in the country. So this is a very strong development and something that we are very proud of.”

Paul has seen first hand the power of education. “I have worked in this sector for over 30 years,” he says. “I have seen people coming here both when I was teaching in classes and as President. I have seen some fantastic life stories of people who have come in and just found themselves. The college experience allows people to mature and find out exactly what they want to do. “You just see people changing over the time that they are here. You see mature students, who may not have finished their formal education, come back on access programmes and progressing on to Masters and PhDs. And you can see them working in the companies locally and you see their lives moving on and it’s nice to think that you made a small contribution to that.” For more information on LYIT, log on to


Award winning technician pushes for more women in roles A young Derry-Londonderry print technician, who beat off competition from across Ireland to be crowned Apprentice of the Year at the 2018 Irish Print Awards, says more women should apply for STEM apprenticeship roles. Lauren Harkin who works as a pre-press technician at Nuprint Technologies in the city, has been hailed as a ‘shining example of a female in a male-dominated print industry excelling and embracing STEM’. The 21-year-old Waterside woman joined the company as an apprentice in 2017, after completing A-Levels in Engineering and Double Award Applied Science. Also a student at Belfast Met, she beat off stiff competition from 74 of her peers to win the Irish Print Awards accolade. “I’m absolutely delighted to have won the award,” said Lauren. “I would really encourage more women to go down the STEM apprenticeship route. The print industry is developing very fast and becoming increasingly technologically advanced, so the future will require staff with a strong background in STEM subjects. “While my male colleagues are great, it would be fantastic for all companies to engage with more women. I’m glad I work for a company which encourages me as a young woman in STEM. It’s very rewarding to be part of a business which is always changing, adapting and expanding. There are always opportunities to train and progress.” Although initially involved with Nuprint’s design team, developing artwork and ordering equipment, Lauren’s talents soon saw her chosen to be part of the company’s new digital department.

Lauren Harkin who works as a pre-press technician in the city picks up her award.

Having invested heavily in a state-of-the-art HP Indigo digital printing press, Nuprint sent Lauren to Barcelona, where she learned to use the artwork pre-press software and received press operator training. She now works in Nuprint’s HP Digital Department, producing high-spec labels, sleeves and wraparound labelling for a wide range of commercial clients. Keen to raise awareness of STEM careers and companies supporting young people like herself into employment, Lauren recently helped to develop Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Business Youth Charter. The initiative highlights those local businesses helping young people into work as well as informing young people about the companies and industries.

Gavin Killeen, Managing Director of Nuprint, said Lauren was a “shining example of a female in a maledominated print industry excelling and embracing STEM.” “Eager to learn new skills and increase her expertise in print, Lauren is undaunted by the challenges we constantly throw her way,” he said. “With her positive attitude, ability to work under pressure and her clear thinking, she embodies Nuprint’s values and has now set a high standard for all our apprentices, both female and male. “Everyone at Nuprint is very proud of Lauren and we’re delighted her hard work has been rewarded with her success at the Irish Print Awards.”



Diamond House Apartments shine bright in the heart of the city Foncey Hume has a passion for taking old, unloved and neglected buildings in our city and giving them a new, stylish lease of life. His latest project has seen him transform a former bank building into five uniquely styled apartments in the heart of our historic city. The building, on Shipquay Street, was constructed in 1827 as a home for the McKay family and was a significant piece of Victorian architecture with a commanding presence. In 1923 it was further upgraded by Belfast architects F&J McArdle for the new owners, Munster & Leinster Bank, which later became Allied Irish Bank. The existing building façade retains the two crests and 1923 can be seen in the top parapet. After laying vacant for many years Foncey Hume, owner of City Property Estate Agents, has breathed new life into the historic building, creating five stunning self-catering apartments as well as a stylish office space. The apartments - ranging from plush and cosy one bedrooms to airy and spacious

two bedrooms - are a charming, warm, inviting and calming haven in the heart of the city. Named after the ancient gates of the city’s famous walls - Shipquay, Ferryquay, Bishop, New and Castle - and adorned with local art, they offer style and comfort steps away from the city’s main tourist attractions. Foncey says bringing the building - which also once housed the Derry Journal newspaper - back to life was a labour of love and is delighted with the results. “We kept all the period features,” he says. “It is a fully listed building. Anything we replaced we replaced it like for like.


“The building was a bank for many, many years. Then in the 1960s the Derry Journal office next door was damaged in a fire and they moved in here. It was the First Trust Bank, then Bank of Ireland, then a solicitors and an architects. It lay vacant for a number of years before we took it over. We now have a stunning office on the ground floor and the apartments above. We chose all the interior design and colours ourselves to try and bring out the best in the building. “Obviously with the tourism growing here in the town everyone is trying to get their share of it,” he says. “Our location here is key. We had our first


visitors here on June 10th last year. They were the first people to sleep overnight in this building in 160 years.” Foncey says he is deeply passionate about the regeneration of the city. “It was so great to be able to breathe life back into this building,” he says. “I am very passionate about that, bringing old buildings in the town back to life. The number of people who stop because our office is lit up at night, or call in during the day just to see the old building is amazing. “The regeneration of the city is really important to me. That is what our game is here - property estate agency and property management. It is great to see so many new builds going on but there are so many

buildings in the town laying derelict and they have so much character to them. “The people who worked with us restoring this building said to me that you just wouldn’t be able to build a property like this in terms of the cost of stone and the quality of the manufacturing and construction. We have so many gems about the city centre within the walls and we should be trying to bring them back to life, be that in the form of office accommodation, hotels, boutique hotels and B&Bs. It can only add to the city.” Foncey says that Diamond House Apartments offer something a little special for the discerning visitor. “Visitors can stay in the heart of the city,” he says. “You couldn’t be any

closer within the historic walls. We are the only self catering apartments within the walls. Visitors can stay in a very historic building, which is evident from the beautiful features and artifacts. They can sample all the stunning artwork on the walls and they can really feel a part of the city’s history.” Foncey says he has plans to refurbish two more historic buildings in the city, but for now, the details remain ‘top secret’. If you would like to book Diamond House Apartments or find out more about the stunning building, you can contact the team on 02871 253819.



Circular Thinking Required from Businesses On 4th July 2018, the EU Council’s Circular Economy Package (CEP) became law. On the surface of it, the law seeks to encourage member states to increase their recycling rates from the current target of 50% of all municipal waste to 55% by 2025 and 65% by 2035. In addition to this, the legislation also looks to encourage a reduction in packaging waste and specifically, an increase in the use of recycled plastic raw materials. The UK government has signalled that the Circular Economy measures will be adopted within UK legislation at a later date, even after the UK leaves the EU. Underneath it all though is a trend, which is becoming a mainstay in the way businesses approach strategic decision making. Historically, business thinking, in terms of resource efficiency, has largely been based on avoiding waste through effective segregation and minimising raw material inputs. The thinking now is for a more holistic solution – one that strives to close the resource utilisation loop and become self-sustaining. The thinking, often termed Circular Business Models, identifies ways in which the raw materials required to produce a product are derived from the same or another post-consumer product. Some of the more innovative models include Levi Strauss & Co’s textile recycling model. Under this model the apparel giant treats post-consumer clothing with an enzyme, which breaks the fibres down and allows them to generate a virgin cotton replacement fibre. The programme works alongside the company’s bring-back policy, which provides consumers with a discount on new purchases when they return an old garment. RiverRidge is embracing this new thinking and intends leading the


Full Circle Generation Energy from Waste Facility, Belfast Harbour Estate.

usable aggregates in an average tonne of household waste. RiverRidge’s £3.5m investment in a wash plant at their Craigmore facility in Coleraine will effectively liberate upwards of 20,000mt of this valuable raw material each year.

Some of the newly branded fleet at RiverRidge.

circular revolution in Northern Ireland. Their focus is on developing projects within Northern Ireland, which generate viable raw materials from existing waste streams. The regenerated raw materials can then be used to replace virgin equivalents. Most importantly though, the savings achieved via this innovation remain within the Northern Ireland economy. One such project involves the treatment of household waste to produce a quality aggregate substitute for use in the concrete and construction sector. Typically, there is up to 10%

A number of other projects are also in various stages of development. As Northern Ireland’s leading waste management operator, RiverRidge, is happy to take the lead in changing the way businesses approach waste and hopes to put Northern Ireland at the forefront of the circular (Re)thinking revolution. For more information: T: +44 (0) 28 95 31 313 E: W:


Ambassador Programme set to shine a light on vibrant city The Visit Derry Conference Ambassador Programme is part of an ambitious strategy to attract more conferences and events to the city. We invite you to join our exclusive collaboration of dynamic local professionals who promote the city and region as a conference destination throughout their extensive network of connections and through membership of professional Associations, Societies and Institutes. Visit Derry in partnership with Ambassadors based at the Western Health & Social Care Trust, Ulster University and the Corporate/Business sector have secured over £15m of conference business over the last five years.

In 2019 we will welcome the largest global conference to ever take place in the region – the 30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) , which will attract up to 800 delegates over 5 nights in the city generating an estimated economic impact of £1.5m.

There are many benefits to hosting a conference including: • Increasing the profile of your organization • Showcasing new products or research • Establishing connections within your industry • Attracting investment or funding • Contributing to the growth of the tourism economy

Visit Derry provides access to a professionally managed programme that offers full support to deliver a #LegenDerry event experience including bid preparation, hosting committee site inspections, venue selection, accommodation booking, coordinating Civic receptions and gala dinners, creating social programmes, PCO (Professional Conference Organiser) selection and applying for conference support funding. Play your part and get in touch with the Visit Derry team to find out how we can support you T: +44 2871 377577 e:

Become a

Conference Ambassador Did you know that by hosting a National or International conference you can play your part in growing the local economy whilst raising the profile of your company, department or research?

Could you potentially host an event here?

Speak to the team at Visit Derry to find out how we can help!

International Excellence ~ Inspired Locally

T: +44 2871 377577 | E: | W:



Facing the future with confidence Londonderry Chamber Vice President and Head of North Region at Danske Bank, Redmond McFadden speaks to CONNECTED about the bank’s commitment to the North West, the impact of recent investment and strategic partnerships for skills training and the continued support of customers as the uncertainty of 2019 continues.

Redmond McFadden, Head of North Region at Danske Bank

Tell us a bit about who you are Redmond Although Derry born and bred, during over 30 years in Banking I’ve lived and worked throughout Northern Ireland. I’m passionate about where I’m from and have a keen personal interest in the economic success of the city and its surrounding areas. I joined Danske Bank 7 years ago heading up the business centre in the North West before moving in to Personal Banking. My current role is Head of North Region, working closely with our branch network in the North West to support our personal, small business and SME customers. Alongside my role in Danske Bank, it is my great honour to take on the role of Vice President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce this year, supporting the great initiatives that

our President Brian McGrath has in plan. There is a wealth of knowledge in Londonderry Chamber of Commerce from existing and past Presidents as well as board members, which covers all business sectors and I am very much intending to learn from all this expertise before taking up the role of President in 2020. When time permits, I also try to be supportive of community initiatives, having been on the Board of Foyle Foodbank, Limavady College, Young Enterprise and working closely with Children in Crossfire in a number of local fundraising initiatives and also on the committee of ‘10,000 Santas’ successful world record attempt in order to raise funds for very worthwhile local charities.

Colleagues of the Shipquay Place Customer Protection Centre


Can you explain your new role a bit more to us? At Danske Bank, we are continually striving to be the best bank in Northern Ireland by making more possible for our customers. We have a strong focus on customer satisfaction and have invested heavily in our digital services, training, and new products and services. Just last year, we launched a number of new initiatives. We were the first local bank to introduce all the ‘ways to pay’ including Google Pay, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay, as well as launching a new savings product for customers over 50 and a new mortgage offer for customers switching to us. Branches are still important to us, it’s not all about digital. Our vision is ‘Digital with a human touch’ and to this end we are investing more than ever in our people, and we continue to invest in upgrading our branches across Northern Ireland. Our Shipquay Place premises completed a £2 million refurbishment just a few years ago, and is now a vital hub. We have also recently invested in upgrading our branch at Altnagelvin, further endorsing our commitment to branch banking in the city. My role is to ensure that we provide exceptional service to all our customers throughout my region, from Carrickfergus to Enniskillen and from Ballycastle to Ballygawley. I have a vital support system of five area managers and in the North West Sylvia Patton takes that key role - leading our branch


network in Altnagelvin, Limavady, Strabane and Shipquay Place. We are continually looking at how we can help our customers on their life journey, whether that’s buying their first home, starting a business or even just coming into our branches for their day-to-day transactions. In branch, we have a Private Banker, multi-skilled Personal Bankers and a local Mortgage Adviser. We also listened to our small business customers’ feedback and moved our Small Business Advisers back into our branches to provide very local and personally accessible support to our customers.

How are businesses supported in the North West? In our local branches and business centre, which is based in our Altnagelvin branch, we are privileged to work closely with some of the North West’s most innovative and exciting businesses of all sizes and from a wide range of sectors. Our customers benefit from local management and local decision making, from our local CEO and Head Office in Belfast right down to day-to-day support from our Business Centre based in Altnagelvin. Our team here is a central part of the local business community, and with the majority of them living locally they are close to the opportunities and challenges for businesses in DerryLondonderry. Not just in my role as Vice President, but as a wider company, we support our local businesses through our ongoing support for Londonderry Chamber of Commerce with a number of joint initiatives each year.

Recently, Danske Bank announced an investment in new roles in Derry city centre, can you tell us more about them? Yes, we announced that we had taken the decision to locate our new Customer Protection Centre in Derry city centre, which is great news and a strong signal of confidence in the city. Led by manager Mark Fitzpatrick, the

Peter Houston, Business Manager North Business Centre at Danske Bank; Sylvia Patton, Area Manager at Danske Bank; Redmond McFadden, Head of North Region at Danske Bank outside the flagship Shipquay Place premises.

Centre has been set up to protect our customers, and society at large, from financial crime, fraud, cyber-crime and money laundering. It came about as part of new regulations released, and we campaigned that it be situated in Derry city centre, where we knew there were talented people who benefit our existing team. The recruitment for the centre has been facilitated through a partnership between Invest NI, the Department for the Economy, North West Regional College and Danske Bank. We worked with the Department for the Economy to create an Assured Skills Academy in the North West, which has helped us to tap into a new skilled talent base and create new jobs in the area. It is already a substantial team of close to 100 people in total - 35 based in two centres in Belfast - and the new hub in Derry-Londonderry, which will have 68 people in place by the end of March 2019. All roles in the Customer Protection Centre are expected to be filled by 2020, and at that stage it will generate nearly £1.5 million annually for the local economy in salaries - it’s a really exciting time and we’re thrilled to be leading the team in Derry city centre.

That does all sound great, but with Brexit ever looming, what are the challenges ahead? There’s no denying that 2019 is set to be a challenging year ahead, there is still plenty of uncertainty around Brexit and what it will mean - especially here in Northern Ireland and even more so here in Derry, so close to the border. We’re working closely with our customers and advising them to prepare for a no deal Brexit, and what impacts that could have. Recently, the collapse of the Flybmi service from City of Derry Airport to Stansted was a blow to the local business community - it is crucial that the businesses of Derry have a connection to London, and that cannot be overstated, so the Loganair announcement was welcome news for all. It is just one of the first hurdles we will have to overcome together. The road ahead may not be smooth, but at Danske Bank we are here to support our customers. We also want to help stimulate conversation and debate and encourage all of the local stakeholders to collectively address the head winds our economy faces.


business advice Those living at the Dutch-Belgian border may have issues about cross border healthcare, those at the German-French border may have language issues, those at the Swedish-Danish may have child benefit problems whilst those living at the Irish border may have currency issues.

Joe Lavery Co-ordinator EURES Cross Border Partnership Ireland

WHO CAN SUPPORT THE CROSS BORDER WORKER? In these unsettled times, those workers who live in one jurisdiction and work in the other, may need help and guidance more than ever. The EURES (European Employment Services) Cross border network supports those who live and work along the borders and believe it or not, the same issues arise along all European borders.


The EURES Cross Border network is experienced in supporting workers with these issues and, if we don’t have the answers we will surely know an expert who will. Presently we aren’t so clear as to what the future holds regarding Brexit but once the way forward is clearly laid out and agreed then the EURES Cross Border Partnership will provide clear, factual information for all workers who cross the border regularly to work. For more information log on to

Aidan Young Business Development Executive Lawlink Ni

HOW CAN BUSINESSES STAY ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE LAW WHEN NAVIGATING THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA AND ONLINE PLATFORMS? Social media in today’s environment cannot be ignored, it offers many professional and personal benefits. The Commercial benefits for any business can arise from the ability to market products and materials as well as to communicate with a wide and/or targeted audience.


business is a vital step in developing a brand strategy. Consumers trust brands that they recognise so ensuring you are giving consumers a consistent experience across all channels is invaluable.

Dale Blackwood Design Director Aligned B2B Marketing


It can be used to debate, share opinions and share experiences by ‘posting’ or commenting in public spaces. However it is important to be aware of the potential risks involved. One of the main considerations that social media users MUST take into account is that the same ethical obligations of professional conduct apply on an online environment and therefore it is Imperative that you read the terms and conditions of the social media provider to appreciate their application fully. Many users, although asked to confirm they have read the Ts &Cs of an online site before progressing, don’t actually bother and just tick the box, thus not actually realising that they may have relinquished ownership for the reproduction and use of their posted content and account holder information, which could be detrimental to both Business and Personal relationships. Likewise you may have unwittingly permitted willingness to receive and be Included in Marketing & promotional Campaigns and Pop ups.

Noel McCaul Dawn McLaughlin & Co

Day to day business has become overwhelmingly dependant on technology. The dynamic between the ability to sell worldwide whilst having worldwide competition has completely changed the virtues of building brand trust. Here is how Aligned Agency helps build engaging brands that connect with consumers on an emotional level.

Know your brand Amongst the clutter and marketplace saturation, it’s important to first create a brand that is built on a vision and a set of values that can be clearly and concisely communicated to the consumer. Know what your offer is, why you’re different and what your brand stands for.

If “guilty“ check if you can adjust them on your next VAT return to minimise any additional assessments from HMRC. Have you?

Build a tribe Today consumers are becoming more conscious of how the brands they use fit into their lives and resonate with their views and philosophies. Building a community of loyal customers is about understanding their needs and pain points and providing a solution that is synonymous with their beliefs.

3 Claimed input VAT on a non-VAT

Get personal Purchasing a product or service is as much of an emotional decision than it is a practical one. People buy from people they know so letting consumers get to know your brand on a personal level will create trust and connection. Consistency is king Knowing the main touch points in which your consumers engage with your

HOW DO WE PREPARE FOR THE DREADED VAT INSPECTION? Most people dread VAT inspections especially if they have been penalised before. We recommend you review your VAT records and check if you have made any of these common VAT errors.

1 Recorded all your sales including cash sales?

2 Claimed input VAT on a purchase invoice and a statement? invoice?

4 Claimed input VAT on non-business purchases?

5 Claimed input VAT on business entertainment?

6 Recorded all credit notes from your suppliers?

7 Used the correct VAT scheme? 8 Recorded output VAT on the disposal of equipment or vans?

9 Recorded the correct input VAT on leased cars?

Are you guilty as charged? If in any doubt seek professional advice.


Female workforce helping navigate path to success at Foyle Port

FOYLE PORT: CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL Ports and shipping remain two of the most maledominated industries in the world. Gender balance may be some way off yet, but great strides are being made to break down the stereotypes across the board. Many of the barriers, and often the stigma, that comes with females working in an industrial environment may have been prohibitive to many more women entering the associated professions over the past few decades. However, things are changing for the better. Developing a modern port is not all about new technology or equipment, but also managing the evolution of its workforce. Foyle Port is one such place that has created an environment that is open to all, which in turn has led to an ever-increasing number of females joining in a variety of roles.

Growth of the female workforce

Bonnie Anley, Chair of Foyle Port


Bonnie Anley, Chair of Foyle Port, points out that the port is keen to ensure that it has diversity in its workforce and always seeks the best person for the job, regardless of their background.


Brian McGrath, Chief Executive of Foyle Port

evolution of the workforce at the port is a priority and recognises the role of women in the industry.

“The female workforce at Foyle Port have played an integral role for years and many are key members of the team. We have a wealth of female talent across the port operation which is not always apparent when people think about the activities that a business like ours carries out.” But as Chair Anley highlights, Foyle Port has an everincreasing number of roles filled by females. “We are committed to recognising the role that women play at Foyle Port in particular, and the industry in general. We are leading this out by discussing it at every opportunity and have senior management in place that acknowledges the need for workplace diversity by nurturing an open and welcoming environment.” “Almost 40% of the present Commissioners are female and we employ many women throughout the workforce, some in traditionally male dominated sectors such as engineering. We also have a strong record of career advancement internally and we have a number of good

examples of women that have progressed significantly in their roles within the port.” “I started my own career in shipping and ports at the age of 24 when it was highly unusual to find women in this sector, but this has changed and is constantly improving. I have seen first-hand what women have brought to the transport sector in general and I am a strong believer that a good mix of genders makes for a more effective organisation.” She continued, “we want to see more women exploring the opportunities that we offer to all, right from the apprenticeship level to some of the most senior management positions.”

Opportunity Arlene Thompson, Director of Finance at Foyle Port with over 15 years’ service is responsible for the successful day to day running of financial operations. “The recent performance of the port has been some of its best in its long history and it’s important not to lose sight of

the need to have a strong and viable business. This growth provides the opportunity for further job creation for the north west. It is our hope that we will see many more of the future roles filled by women as we move forward” she said. Another role at the Consulting division of Foyle Port is that of Environmental Scientist held by Yvonne Buchanan. She says that the opportunity is there, but more confidence is required for women to take the leap and apply for vacancies at the port. “We need more females in science-based roles, and it is important that young women have the confidence to put themselves forward and grasp the opportunities that exist. Working at Foyle Port is based on merit and ability. It really doesn’t matter what gender you are or the background you are from, if you have the right skills the roles are there.”

Fulfilling Careers Speaking with Brian McGrath, the Chief Executive at Foyle Port, he says that the

“The staffing requirement for a modern port operation such as Foyle Port has expanded and we require people with a wide range of experience and skills. We always want the best person for the job, and I am truly encouraged when we see experienced and ambitious women working in those roles and having fulfilling careers, which leads to others wanting to be part of our team. It is clear to see the positive impact that our current female workforce has in encouraging others to come forward.” Foyle Port Chair Bonnie Anley concluded, “at Foyle Port we are aware that we still must work to ensure we can provide the right environment and employment opportunities that are attractive to women to give them the chance to meet any ambition they have to work in this industry. It is very positive that we are seeing more women coming to work with us in various roles. We are not a typical 9-5 business, but we offer a fulfilling career here in the north west for anyone wishing to realise their potential within port management and operations.”



Airporter Move Customer Drop Off and Pick Up Point to City Centre Following Recent Growth The new customer drop-off point provides Airporter customers with easy access to car parking, public transport connections and city centre hotels.

Niall McKeever, Director of Airporter and Fergal Rafferty, Foyleside Centre Manager at the Foyleside Coach park.

North West transport firm Airporter has moved its customer drop off/pick up point to the city centre to deal with a substantial increase in demand. The firm, which provides a vital transport link between the North West city region and the two Belfast airports, has been operating from the new bus stop at the Foyleside Coach park, beside the shopping centre, from 7 January 2019. The company made the decision to move its pick up and drop off points as part of its wider strategic move to deal with a steep rise in demand for services. Founded in 1996, the company has seen passenger numbers increase from around 5,000 in its first year to approximately 155,000 in 2017. It has a fleet of 21 vehicles and operates 30 journeys every day. The increase in demand for its services also saw the firm unveil a £1million investment in a new 14,000 square foot hub on a 2.5-acre site at the site of the old Lough Swilly bus company, in the Springtown Industrial Estate in late 2018.


Niall McKeever, Director of Airporter, explained the reasons behind the move saying “We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people using our service and this move is a direct reaction to that. We want to ensure there is a seamless connection between the North West city region and the UK and Europe. People travelling for holidays, students travelling to university, business people commuting, they all use our service because they know it’s fast, reliable and efficient.”

He also explained that the company was focused on investing in the North West “The investments that we have made as a company over the last twenty years have shown our commitment and dedication to the North West City region. Airporter’s new drop off and pick up point at Foyleside There is a lot of energy, Coach Park. passion and talent in this region and we’re excited to be an Airporter has become a crucial part important part of that.” of the infrastructure linking the North West city region to the rest of the “This partnership between Foyleside world, proving extremely popular with and Airporter now means that those tourists, students and people travelling to see this part of the world travelling to and from the North West for the first time will find a warm for business. welcome right in the heart of the city.” The firm has grown in popularity because of the reliability of its service but customers are also attracted by its well-trained staff and its heavy investment in digital technology which allows passengers to book tickets 24 hours a day from anywhere. Airporter bookings are almost 100% booked online.

Airporter services run from Foyleside Shopping centre to Belfast International Airport and Belfast City Airport regularly. A full timetable can be found at



Allstate securing careers and cyberspace Cyber-attacks are increasing faster than ever before, in frequency and severity. The last year has seen several major cyber-attacks, including the British Airways data breach which impacted 380,000 customers and the Marriott data breach which affected over 500 million. As demand for cybersecurity professionals grows, Northern Ireland’s biggest technology and information security employer, Allstate, is a leader in this area of technology. The Allstate Corporation is the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurer in America, serving more than 16 million households nationwide. We are the Good Hands®. We help customers realize their hopes and dreams by providing the best products and services to protect them from life’s uncertainties and prepare them for the future. Protecting information in the fourth industrial revolution - the digital revolution - is more important than ever before. This era is marked by technology breakthroughs in a number of fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the internet of things, 3D printing

and autonomous vehicles. We’ve seen an explosion in the number, diversity, intelligence and connectivity of technology, which is creating the exponential growth and distribution of information – information that needs to be protected.

With a rise of 20% every year in information security roles, the cybersecurity industry is on course to generate salaries of £60 million per annum in Northern Ireland. This will ensure protection of businesses and our digital assets into the future.

Like any transformation it is pivotal to ensure a successful risk management strategy that delivers focused, cost effective security of our digital assets. This area of growth within technology is presenting an exciting opportunity for job creation and ground-breaking work.

Allstate’s global Information Security organisation is undergoing large-scale transformation, offering the most exciting cybersecurity career opportunities in Northern Ireland. Check out the career opportunities today.

Renewable Electricity Accounts for 36% of Electricity Demand in 2018 Renewable energy accounted for 36% of electricity used in Northern Ireland during 2018, according to new analysis from SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland).

of physics in order to meet the challenge of integrating increasing amounts of renewable energy onto the electricity system and it is encouraging to see the positive results of this work.”

These are the highest-ever levels of renewable generation on Northern Ireland’s power system and provide a clear indication that Northern Ireland is on track to meet its target of 40% of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020.

Northern Ireland has a target of meeting 40% of electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020.

Robin McCormick, General Manager, SONI commented: “These figures are very reassuring in the context of the 2020 targets. We are pushing the laws


The analysis shows that while 36% of electricity demand in Northern Ireland during 2018 was met by renewable sources; in 2017 the figure was 31% - demonstrating a clear increase year-on-year. Wind power makes up the vast majority of the renewable resources in

The Northern Ireland Control Centre at SONI, Castlereagh

Northern Ireland, followed by solar-power. SONI’s ground-breaking Delivering a Secure Sustainable Electricity System (DS3) programme of work has made it possible to reach the 36%. Under the programme, SONI is now managing up to 65% renewable energy on the power system at any given time, a milestone reached last April.


EVERGLADES HOTEL CONTINUES TO GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH The Everglades Hotel is looking forward to another busy year following a prosperous 2018 with the hotel celebrating the highest occupancy in its 42-year history. Neil Devlin, General Manager of the Everglades Hotel said: “Since the opening of our Grand Ballroom in April 2017, we are delighted to report a 33% increase in weddings and a 15% increase in business events. It is now the largest event space in the North West and over the last two years, we have been able to accommodate a wider range of larger conferences, gala dinners and some of the finest business functions in the city which we previously couldn’t. Over this period of time we have also created 10 new full-time positions in the last 12 months. Our continued success has been recognised through a number of

Everglades Afternoon Tea

this market, which in turn provides a massive economical benefit to the city as a whole throughout the year.

prestigious awards including Best Accommodation provider at The North West Business Awards and we also picked up the Gold Award for most valuable contribution for Hospitality for the annual Floral Competition 2018.”

“We are looking forward to a busy year with plenty of big events coming to the city and a growing number of visitor groups staying at the Everglades to enjoy all that the North West has to offer, so I think it will be a prosperous 2019 for Derry,” Neil concluded.

“Our Grand Ballroom enables the Everglades to attract new events to the city including larger conferences, so we will be working hard to continue to target

For all your business needs contact Catrina Myers, Business Development Manager on 028 71 340015 or email

THE PERFECT LOCATION The Everglades is your stylish first choice location for all your business needs – for conferences, gala events and meetings of all sizes, we can deliver and exceed your expectations. With 64 luxurious bedrooms, the largest and finest ballroom in the North West, superb cuisine, friendly staff and first class service from the planning stages through to delivery, please contact us today for your next event.

Call 028 7132 1066 or visit 59


Celebrations as nursing test centre marks first birthday A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Competence Test Centre at Ulster University set up to increase nursing capacity across the United Kingdom (UK), is celebrating a successful first year. The test centre at Ulster University’s Magee campus is one of only three in the United Kingdom and the only centre in Northern Ireland. The centre has not only helped to alleviate pressures on the health sector, but it has also become an economic driver for the North West with businesses across the city reaping the many benefits of increased visitor numbers. Nurses and midwives registered outside of the EU/EEA are required to undergo comprehensive assessment in order to confirm their competency before they can practice in the UK. The purposebuilt, designated test centre at the Magee campus delivers the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), which tests applicants’ skills, knowledge and behaviours in a simulated practice environment. This is the final test that candidates must pass in order to gain registration as a nurse or midwife in the UK. With a responsive approach to meeting the needs of individuals and organisations, the School of Nursing at Ulster University facilitates much needed registered nurses, who have been recruited from overseas, in their journey to registration. This enables them to move forward in establishing their career in the UK whilst making a valued and essential contribution to the health of the public through their knowledge, expertise and experience. Since opening in 2018, over 1800 nurses from countries including Canada, Japan, Philippines, India, Africa, and Barbados have undertaken the OSCE at the Ulster University CTC and are now working in healthcare settings across Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland.


Provost of the Magee campus Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Director of Registration and Revalidation at the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) Emma Broadbent, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences Professor Carol Curran

The new CTC facility at Magee Campus also serves the Independent Sector in enabling overseas nurses recruited to work in the Nursing Home sector, to undertake the OSCE ‎in Northern Ireland. The new Competence Test Centre facility at Magee Campus also serves the Independent Sector in enabling overseas nurses recruited to work in the Nursing Home sector, to undertake the OSCE in Northern Ireland. Professor Carol Curran, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, said: “At Ulster University we have been at the forefront of delivering excellence through nursing education and research for over four decades. Alongside our pre-registration and specialist programmes offered in the

School of Nursing, this Competence Test Centre is making a tangible impact on the pressing challenges and demands of our health service. The centre has helped to increase nursing capacity in the UK, allowing a greater choice of location and shorter waiting times for overseas nurses and midwives wanting to sit the test.” Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Provost of the University’s Magee campus said: “As Northern Ireland’s civic university, our sense of civic responsibility is at the heart of what we do and why we do it. The Competence Test Centre at the Magee campus allows us to share our knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the local and wider national community while also supporting economic growth in the region.”


Solicitor Philip Gilliland looks back at history of family business Trip Down Memory Lane

With Philip Gilliland from Caldwell & Robinson Solicitors What age are you? 52 years old

Where in the city are you from? Ballyarnett

Explain what your business does? We are commercial and family solicitors

What is your title and how long you have been in post? I’ve been Managing Partner since 2006

Tell me how your business began The business started in Castle Street in 1910 when solicitor Charles Caldwell took Harry Robinson into partnership. My late father, David Gilliland who sadly passed away on 4th February, 2019 took over the firm in 1970 from his friend Don Clarke, who emigrated to Australia. Prior to that, my father owned the firm of Gilliland, Todd and Mark on Shipquay Street, which he acquired in 1957. My partner (and wife) Karen O’Leary came into the firm in 1998 and together we it took over in 2004, and in 2007 we moved to our bespoke premises on Artillery Street.

What was the city like outside your windows in that era? I have many memories from the 70s, of the much larger number of small professional businesses operating inside the Walls, and of the fun we had as children in Neely’s undertaker’s yard in Magazine Street where the Craft Village is now - amongst the big old hearses. This is where my father parked his car every day, and it is where he decamped his office to after each of the several bombs the office fell victim to.

Has the ethos of the business changed over the years? Some things have never changed. However what has changed is that law is more specialised now. We are much

bigger than we used to be – our family law practice area is probably the biggest in Northern Ireland and has been consistently ranked the top family law practice in Northern Ireland. Our geographical reach is much bigger than just Derry and Donegal. In March we opened our new office in Dublin , having recruited preeminent Dublin family lawyer Geraldine Keehan to be our partner and to run the office. This makes us the premier all-Ireland family law firm and one of very few all-Ireland commercial law firms. Our ethos remains very Derryfocused, but has extended to serving clients throughout Ireland, principally from our headquarters in Derry.

Your father was very much woven into the fabric of your business, what do you think his greatest achievement was? What is his legacy and what lessons did he teach you? I think my father was impartial and treated every person with the same respect. He didn’t follow orthodoxy. He was his own man. And he was immensely proud of being from Derry and Donegal, and of his family’s involvement in Derry’s commercial and legal life for many generations. Sometimes people feared him a bit – he could have a severe demeanour. But generally he was well respected. On reflection, and thinking particularly about the 70s and 80s, I think his greatest achievement was simply carrying on in very difficult circumstances. He believed that the baby-steps of treating everyone fairly and with respect would help build a better community. And so do we.

What was the best bit of advice he gave you in business/in law? In law, the last thing you should do is do what you have been asked to do. You must first understand why you have been asked what you have been asked to do. Only then will you know how to deliver the

best holistic result for your client. In business, treat everyone with patience and respect, but find your own truths.

Are there any traditions carried on from yesteryear? Being family-owned is not that common for a mid-size law firm, and we do have something of a family atmosphere, which is good. My father was a very able photographer, and his photographs adorn the walls of our office. I think it’s a better reminder of him than a portrait of a man in a suit – it reminds us that excellence is what you must strive to achieve in all that you do, but also that a person with interests outside of work will probably be better able to be excellent at their work. And we still have tea at 10.30am – I would never change that.

What can businesses learn from the past to build a strong future? Owning a business can be a roller-coaster that is both rewarding and challenging. You have to have an appetite to seek opportunity, to grow people and to be proud of your delivery. And you have to be resilient and resourceful, and keep your pride in check. The past is not a place that exists in the future, but what we can learn from the past is that every generation of business owner has toughed out the same roller-coaster. And survived, succeeded and prospered.



Car boss throws weight behind funding drive Car dealer John Mullholland has a very special and poignant reason to be throwing his weight behind Friends of the Cancer Centre. John was diagnosed with kidney cancer back in June 2018 and has greatly benefited from the centre, particularly through the support of his centre funded clinical nurse specialist. Friends of the Cancer Centre works to enhance the quality of patient care and support through its life-changing and life-saving work which includes funding additional nurses, supporting local research and providing practical support, such as financial grants, which can help alleviate some of the stresses which can come with diagnosis and treatment. John Mulholland’s award winning car dealership in Randalstown and Campsie has announced a special partnership and is now pledging to donate £40,000 in addition to other fundraising activity to help Friends of the Cancer Centre fund vital nursing hours, which supports thousands of local people every year. In the year ahead the company will make a donation for every car sold and serviced, as well as encouraging employees and customers to take part in the charity’s fundraising events. John said that he and staff at the family owned company wanted to give something back.

John Mulholland, owner of John Mulholland Motors, is pictured with Colleen Shaw, chief executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre and the team from Mulholland Motors Randalstown showroom.

“I’m delighted to partner with Friends of the Cancer Centre and am fully committed to raising as much money as we can to support its vital work,” he said.

“We are delighted to partner with John Mulholland Motors and we are really looking forward to working alongside its employees and customers,” she said.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer it came as a complete shock, but I have been so well looked after by all those involved in my treatment. I’m particularly thankful to Friends of the Cancer Centre as if it wasn’t for the charity my specialist nurse, Melanie, wouldn’t be here to support me and my family.

“It costs just £25 to provide an hour of specialist nursing care from one of the charity’s specialist nurses and as well as providing one to one support for the patient and their family, our nurses also help reduce the waiting lists for other people waiting to see consultants. This means enhanced care for hundreds of people.”

“By committing to donate at least £40,000 this year, we hope to fund at least 1,600 nursing hours which I know will make an incredible difference to so many people, just as it has to me.”

For more information about Friends of the Cancer Centre and how to support local people affected by cancer visit www.friendsofthecancercentre. com. Or to donate £3 now text Friends3 to 70660. Each text costs £3 plus network charge.

Friends of the Cancer Centre relies entirely on the generosity of the local community and all money donated stays in Northern Ireland, directly benefiting patients and their families.

John Mulholland, owner of John Mulholland Motors, is pictured with his daughter, Shona Mulholland (left) and Colleen Shaw (right), chief executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre, at the launch of a new partnership with the local charity.


Welcoming the new partnership, Colleen Shaw, chief executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre said the partnership with John Mulholland Motors was a very special one.

Friends of the Cancer Centre receives 100 per cent of your donation. Please obtain bill payer’s permission. Contact the charity on 028 9069 9393. Their charity number NIC101345.


Derry Credit Union is driving down the cost of car finance Priced at just 8% APR or 4.33% Flat Rate representative, Derry Credit Union’s Car Loan compares favourably with rates offered by most local dealers. Once Derry Credit Union’s 25% guaranteed interest rebate for 2019 is applied, it will be hard to find a better deal in Derry. General Manager Joan Gallagher explained: “When comparing car finance from one lender to the next, be sure to compare like with like. Most dealers advertise their finance in terms of the flat rate of interest even though the APR is a more accurate picture of the total cost of your car finance. Our rate is one of the best currently on offer locally.”


She added: “Alongside this great rate, our borrowing members enjoy other benefits of credit union loans, such as Loan Protection Insurance at no direct cost to them, flexible terms and repayments, and no fees.” The car loan product is available for eligible members purchasing cars or paying off their current finance deal with another lender. To be eligible, the member must be able to afford the loan, agree to repay the loan before their 75th birthday, and agree to allow Derry Credit Union to make enquiries about their financial affairs. Terms and conditions apply and further

information is available at www. Applying has never been more convenient! Derry Credit Union is the first credit union to offer a paperless loan service! Members registered with our online banking service can now can apply for a loan in the Members Area of our website, sign the application digitally, and have the funds transferred electronically to their car dealer or garage. Applications can also be made in our office on Abbey Street, via our Phone A Loan service on 028 7126 7474 and online at


Sample Loan £10,000 over 5 years £202 per month

8% APR 4.33% Flat Rate Representative

Loans are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating which may limit your ability to access credit in the future. Derry Credit Union Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (FRN 574104). Derry Credit Union Limited, 7 Abbey Street, Derry BT48 9DN.



Poplar: Bringing the heart to the home Contemporary kitchen designer Caroline Higgins has been making family’s dreams come true for seven years now. As the the head of Poplar Design, renowned and respected Caroline has fitted kitchens in mansions, celebrity and family homes up and down the country. And there is one thread that runs through each of her designs family and love. Creating family spaces through her family business and loving what she does.

is completely different and it all comes from the heart.

The business has family at its heart. Caroline called it Poplar Design after her beloved grandfather, John McFadden, whom she called ‘Pop’. When the building came up in John Street, she knew she had to secure it as another part of her business jigsaw.

Caroline recently finished a kitchen for Strictly Come Dancing star Vincent Simone and his wife Susan.

“Our kitchens are all bespoke so if a client comes in with £10,000 or £60,000, we will work with that budget,” she says. “We are very specialised in design. I am completely different than any other company, in that I don’t have anything in stock, it is tailored to suit every single individual and what they want to do. It

“We have clients who travel up from Cork, Galway, Sligo from all over Ireland. We are very blessed to be highly recommended by our customers. A lot of our work comes from word of mouth.”

“Vincent and Susan were so nice,” she says. “They moved over here from London and Susan came into me here at the studio. We designed the kitchen over many coffees and I had so many site visits, I was so involved in the full project. We wanted it to be quite classy. It is an aluminium handleless kitchen with high gloss black. We wanted black and white so that it is very timeless so they could do accessories that could really reflect them. And we did drop

Caroline Higgins, Proprietor of Poplar Design

ceilings and mood lighting and a fish tank in the living area. “When you are dealing one to one with a client it is such a beautiful project. They were the most wonderful clients to deal with. They were very honest, down to earth and they loved that I shielded them from that publicity that people were going to overcharge them.” Not only does Caroline do a lot of high-end kitchens and work with celebrities, she also has her own city at heart, giving back to charity when she can. She designed and fitted the staff kitchen for Foyle Search and Rescue (FSR). “We were climbing Mount Errigal for charity one day and Pat Carlin from FSR was telling me about the big extension they were putting on to their HQ. I told him that I had been so blessed in my business and that I really wanted to give something back. I supplied the American Fridge Freezer, an oven, a



hob, a dishwasher, sinks, taps, lights and an island unit. We did high gloss white and laminate worktops. It was quite a big investment for me but I wanted to do it, to support the local community and give something back.” Caroline says her job - that of creating the heart of a family’s home - is a special one. “People know me for me,” she says. “That’s why I think we are different. People matter to us. No matter when people need me, I’m there. They trust me. And that is why Poplar Design is different to the rest. It’s not just about the kitchen, it’s about the full package that we provide. We have to make sure that the kitchen that they have chosen compliments their floors, their windows, their paint colours. Even though the clients have great ideas themselves, I just help them pull it all together. “It’s special job I have. I am creating a home for families. And the kitchen is the heart and hub of that home where your family get together.” Caroline says everyone wants the latest gadgets and she is only too happy to supply them with the Quooker Flex Tap,

which is hot and cold and boiling water all in one tap eliminating the need for a kettle, integrated coffee machines, warming drawers to heat up your plates, even wifi enabled ovens which can be switched on via an app while you’re on your way home. She says she often finds herself on site with up to 40 men, a challenge even the toughest woman would find testing at times. But she wouldn’t change being a woman in business for anything. “That is one thing I’ve learned,” she says. “It is hard to be a woman in business. Especially being in a male environment. I think when you leave site you have more stripes because people know that you know your stuff. I know the heart of the client and I am always fighting their corner because I know what they want. The builder has to abide by his regulations, so it’s about meeting in the middle.

“I have brilliant staff. My team are amazing. So even if I’m not here it’s important to me that we are all on the same page. “Being a woman in business is something I am very proud of. I do love getting up in the morning and each day is different. You are not restricted with passion, and drive and money. I work twice as many hours but it’s the happiest I’ve ever been. There is joy working for yourself and that reflects in your work. I love it.” For more information, log on to



Catering for the city’s well dressed men

Different Class Menswear on Carlisle Road

Being the man behind a highly respected, long established and much loved sophisticated men’s clothing store can be hard work, but 37-year-old Gerard Devine from Different Class Menswear says it suits him just fine. The store on Derry-Londonderry’s Carlisle Road can trace its historic roots back to 1973 where it opened on Foyle Street. A year later, after the building was bombed, the owner moved to the Carlisle Road premises it now resides in. There have been many changes since then, not just the fashion. The premises was extended and renovated over the years and the business now shines as a bastion of effortless style and class in the city centre. Gerard started his working life at the store while still a university student. He worked his way up through the ranks, learning and perfecting the noble trade, becoming shop manager and then, four years ago, buying the business. He says the secret


to Different Class’ success is strong relationships with customers

maybe they introduce their son to the shop and it keeps the whole thing moving.

“We are here within the community and we are building up relationships and they keep coming back,” he says. “And

“Customers get personal service here, that is what makes us special. You can go anywhere for a suit. But when someone


comes in through that door I know from experience what size they are, what colour suits their skin tones, how to match up shirts and ties for occasions. It takes the hassle out of men shopping. Because left alone, most men struggle. And most men coming through the door have a wife or a girlfriend in tow. But he also likes to turn to a man and ask what he thinks. “We can do alterations. You can go into a big store and buy a suit off the rail and it might sort of fit, it might not. But if you come into me I would say to you that the sleeve needs shortened, and it means that once you have a guy through the door and really look after him, he’s not going to go anywhere else. He might not come here for everything, but you are on his radar when he needs something and I have all their

details on file so on his birthday his partner can come in and pick something that will fit and suit him perfectly. “I know from looking at a guy what his size is, what is going to suit him with regards his hair and skin colour. If he’s going to a wedding I’ll ask him if he is a guest, if he’s going with his partner, what colour they are wearing. I’ll match him with a tie to tone in with his partner. We have nice shoes which will make the whole outfit work. “And he takes my lead and he is confident that I want him to be dressed well because it reflects on us. He’ll be at the wedding and people will be telling him he looks great, where did he get his suit. And that is the best form of advertising. So I need him to go out looking and feeling well.

“You’re buying quality. You are buying into an image. It’s making you feel good. It sits well on you, we’ve done the alterations for you. You are going out being the best you you can be wearing these clothes. And that guy will come back in.” Gerard says he has put his heart and soul into his shop and that reflects in the decor and ambience. “It’s a quirky little shop,” he says. “I try to put my character into what we do. I put the wallpaper up, I did the painting. It’s not like someone has come in and done a shop fit and it’s generic, like everywhere else. You can come in and see that we have a little drinks globe, a leather sofa, nice features. When you come in you can sit down and get a cup of coffee. We want people to walk out of our shop and think ‘that was a nice experience’. To think ‘they really looked after us, they cared what we were in there for, they didn’t do the hard sell and we will go back’. It’s not rocket science, but it works.” A lot of business people, eager to dress to impress, frequent Different Class Menswear. Gerard says the support from the business community is brilliant. He says Different Class Womenswear and Kidswear could be something in their future. “We are a bit more expensive but it is quality clothing, it’s special,” he says. “It’s not just another department store. It’s about making people feel comfortable and good about themselves. “Although we do a lot of wedding suits and a lot of our advertising is fancy checks and different waistcoats and young and trendy guys but a lot of our business is just your average man who wants a navy suit that fits well and wears well. And my customers know I will stand over all our suits. We are not about quick sales and see you later. We look after people. That is why customers stay with us for over 30 years.”




The Beech Hill Country House are delighted to announce the appointment of Aisling Mc Cormick as Sales and Marketing Manager. Aisling joins the group with over 10 years’ experience working in the hospitality sector. Having completed a Masters in International Tourism from the University of Limerick Aisling went on to work for the Morgans Hotel Group in London and most recently the 5 star Castlemartyr Resort in Co. Cork.



Dawn McLaughlin & Co 2. Noel McCaul

Noel has returned to the North West and joined the team at Dawn McLaughlin & Co. Noel has 35 years’ experience with PwC, with the last 11 years spent in the Middle East. Noel brings a wealth of experience in business including auditing, consultancy, corporate finance, board representation, training, quality assurance, mentoring, risk analysis and financial reporting.



3. Laverne O’Donnell

Laverne has recently joined Derry City and Strabane District Council as a Business and Investment Officer. Working across the Investment and Business Development teams Laverne will assist with the continued development and implementation of Council’s Investment, Business Start, Growth and Engagement initiatives.

4. Michele Murphy

Michele Murphy, is the newly appointed Learning City Region Coordinator for Derry City and Strabane District Council. Learning Cities is a UNESCO project and it aims to promote lifelong learning for all citizens across the city and district. The project is funded by 3 partners, NW Regional College, University of Ulster at Magee and Derry City and Strabane District Council. Michele has been in post since December 2018. Michele previously worked for Sustrans’ Charity, in their Behavioural Change unit.





7 5


Disability Action 5. Helen Doherty

Helen joined Disability Action as a Supported Employment Officer, based at the Strand Road site. Helen focuses on personalised support to local employers seeking to recruit talent into their business and supports people with all types of disabilities find suitable employment and further their careers.’

Find Insurance 6. Karen McQuillan Karen was appointed as the Finance Director of Find Insurance NI in 2017. Karen joined the company in 2016 as the Management Accountant, bringing experience and knowledge from her work in both the private and public sector. Karen qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2011 and has now returned to the University of Ulster to study for the Executive MBA. She says Find Insurance NI promotes active, continuous learning and there are several members of staff studying for their Accounting Technicians and CII qualifications.

NWRC 7. Aoife Curran

Aoife is the Marketing Officer within North West Regional College’s Business Support Centre. She promotes the NWRC BSC by creating effective digital marketing materials, articles and creating social media content.


Aoife is a past student of the college having previously studied journalism at HND level and holds a NCTJ qualification in journalism. She previously worked as a journalist for the Strabane Weekly News

8. Holly Johnstone

Holly is the Business Development Assistant within NWRC BSC. She works with small and medium sized businesses, helping them to secure funding and increase their skills levels. Holly is an experienced manager with a retail, customer service background and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Human Resources at Queen’s University in Belfast.

9. Marc McGerty

Marc is the Business Development Executive within North West Regional College’s Business Support Centre. He helps businesses across the North West secure funding for training and staff development projects. Marc also has 20 years experience in supporting businesses throughout Northern Ireland.



Welcome to The Chamber CONNECTED is highlighting some of the Chamber’s newest members. Let us introduce you to the wider range of members that the Londonderry Chamber represents across the North West. Will your business be featured in the next edition?




Boyle Office Supplies have a large range of printer cartridges and office stationery at cheaper than original prices. To find out more visit

Cloud 360 Accounting are the first accounting firm in Northern Ireland, using cloud accounting systems technology to help their clients and customers #MakeMoreMoney #SaveTime #BetterSystems #PeaceOfMind Visit

Cityman your local suit specialist, formal, business & casual clothing for gentlemen of all shapes & sizes. Award-winning groomswear supplier. To find out more visit

Contact Media have 60 TV’s in local taxis hosted by drivers that work a minimum of 40+ hours a week. They also have larger TV’s in both Traditional Turkish Barber Shops on Waterloo Street and Spencer Road as well as Northside Shopping Centre and Brendans Takeaway at 15 Laburnum Terrace. For more information email

Heaventree Design & Marketing established in 2008 in Galway, we are pleased to open a new office in the NW Business Complex in Skeoge. Their speciality is E-commerce and business listing directories. They have built hundreds of successful websites in Ireland, UK. U.S.A, Italy & Malta. They are a dedicated team of Designers, Digital Marketing Specialists, Web designers, Animators and Developers. They have also provided our customers with online stores, ticket and event booking facilities, Gift Voucher systems, online food ordering systems and pretty much anything you can think of we have developed at some point. They work with Wordpress, Joomla, Opencart, Drupal and any kind of PHP script using cake, code igniter etc. You name it we can build it!

Doherty Pension & Investment Consultancy. Doherty Pension & Investment Consultancy have been helping people to grow, protect and manage their wealth for over 35 years. To find out more visit

Enterprise North West. As the local enterprise centre for the Derry City area, Enterprise North West deliver a range of start-up and business development programmes for SMEs and social enterprises locally. They also offer serviced offices & industrial space from their sites in Skeoge & Ebrington. To find out more visit

City Property Estate Agents provides a professional approach to sales, lettings and maintenance for both residential and commercial property. They provide a superior service to our clients and work hard to cover every aspect of the customer needs. They take care and pride in getting the best potential price for your property. Find out more at

Diamond House Apartments. As the only self catering apartments within the iconic city walls, these five individually styled, high quality apartments are right on the doorstep of where you want to be and what you want to see in the historic city of Derry. Find out more at

Find Insurance are a locally owned Insurance Broker. We specialise in Commercial Insurance, Private Lines and Private Medical Insurance out of our office on the Spencer Road, Derry

Houstons Footwear Ltd. Houstons have been synonymous with quality, stylish footwear in Derry for over 40 years stocking an exciting range of shoes and accessories for Ladies and Gents. To find out more visit



Mollitium Capital Limited company is a service provider to a regulated funds platform in the Cayman Islands that services emerging investment managers who provide advise to hedge funds and their investors. The company also provides middle and back offices services for other financial services companies such as investment managers, wealth managers and family offices. The Mollitium client base is global EMEA and Asia. The firm does not do business with companies, entities and or individuals who reside or belong to the jurisdiction of the USA for regulatory reasons.Get in touch via email

North West Pest Control Ltd is the longest established family pest control business in Northern Ireland. They provide pest control and best management services to all sectors. To find out more visit

Rainbow Communications delivers cloud and traditional telephone and IT services to over 10,000 businesses and charities throughout the UK and Ireland To find out more visit

Slim’s Healthy Kitchen, founded in NI in 2013, makes it easy for people to eat healthier without comprising on taste. To find out more visit


The Belfray Country Inn is a 4 Star Boutique Hotel offering 19 luxurious Bedrooms ranging from Family Rooms to Executive Rooms. The Hotel is located only 10 minutes outside of the Historic City of Derry-Londonderry and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. To find out more visit

Not Just Travel is one of the UK’s leading travel companies, with over 12 years of fantastic service, helping clients all over the UK find their perfect holiday and fully ABTA & ATOL protected. They are sure to be able to help you find your dream holiday. As your Personal Travel Expert, I’m here to make planning your next holiday stress-free and easy. Whether you know exactly what you want or need some travel inspiration, I’ll use my knowledge and expertise to create a bespoke holiday you’ll love. From the whole package to those finishing touches such as car hire and travel insurance, I’ve got you covered. I’m available to call any time and happy to arrange a personal meeting to discuss your holiday ideas with you. Get in touch today on 07724 315855 or email

Team Joe Barr are a world endurance cycling team with services that include corporate motivational speaking, performance coaching, performance nutrition coaching and the promotion of two local endurance cycling events, which are sanctioned by the World Ultra-Endurance Association, the Team Joe Barr 200 and The Joe Barr 500. To find out more visit

Peak Physiotherapy Clinic established in 2014. They aim to provide high quality care. Based in Derry, clients have a choice of four highly skilled musculoskeletal Physiotherapists. Dealing with anything from headaches to sporting injuries and return to running. There is also a women’s health service dedicated to pregnancy pain, specialist post natal assessment in form of the MummyMOT and an incontinence and prolapse service. To find out more visit

Vodafone an award-winning network provider owned and operated by local Franchisee, supported by one of the world’s leading communications providers. Our services include Mobile, Fixed line, Broadband, Internet of Things (IoT) and a full range of instore technical support and services. Our 4G network coverage is at 99%, and we are well positioned for the evolution to 5G. We specialise in business tariffs and services and offer all Ireland plans for both consumer and business customers. Located in the Richmond Centre or telephone 07825931005


How does Chamber membership help your business? John Harkin, Founder and CEO of Alchemy Technology Services, wants to help our businesses and our young people sing, not in the traditional sense of the world, but by working in vibrant, thriving and interesting environments. The 56-year-old former Top of the Hill man moved back to his home city in September of last year after years spent working all over world with KPMG. Ten days after arriving home he opened the doors of Alchemy in Queen Street with a view to transforming the insurance industry. He says he has been greatly helped by the Chamber of Commerce in making beneficial connections so as to aid his dream of giving something back to the city and the institutions that helped propel him to global success. “I came by my qualifications by a rocky road,” he says. “I went to St Brecans. It was not a great time for that school. So I went to the Tech to get more accustomed to getting myself into university life. It was a mixed campus, it was not uniformed, there was a lot of reliance on studying yourself. I enjoyed it greatly. Today the Tech, or the NWRC as it is now known, is key to the success of Alchemy. They are running the Academies for us and are a very close partner, as well as the university. We have 256 jobs that we have committed to over the next three years. Giving back to my city and the young people here is very important to me.” John dominated the Derry Feis singing competitions as a child and was once named ‘The Most Promising Voice in Ireland’. He says these days he doesn’t sing as much anymore, bar a impromptu tune at the office Christmas party, but can clearly see the similarities between

music and business and the importance of allowing staff to ‘flourish and sing’. “Part of the name for Alchemy, is that the highest level of adulthood development is called Alchemist, or magician,” he says. “The Alchemist strives for ego disintegration and tries to be invisible. It’s that saying about helping people and the people believing that they did it all themselves. And in fact they have, you have just created an environment where they could succeed. “If you create an environment where people can flourish, the company can flourish. It’s a bit like music. You let people sing.” And John’s methods have evidently worked on a worldwide scale. He led a team of consultants who helped Apple establish its European market, worked in Silicon Valley, helped Standard Chartered Bank transform their approach to technology in Asia, brought solutions to a difficult project with the attorney General of New South Wales, and transformed the diamond market for the Oppenheim family. And he is very much hoping to bring that magic to Derry and transform the insurance industry in the UK and Europe. John says there is a shortage of young talent coming into the industry, an exciting industry which is going through a massive transition from archaic to digital, and needs talented people to ease that ambitious move. And so Alchemy was born. “Through the Academy we train people in insurance and soft skills and we teach them project management,” he says, “We polish up their technical skills and get them all to a similar standard. Then

with our partner companies we give them training and certification in the particular software. We coach and mentor them and they are given globally recognised qualifications and placed on projects. We have people at the moment in Dublin, in Milan, in Newcastle, Wales, London and Copenhagen working on projects. I’m hoping that these young people see that they don’t have to move away from Derry and live in a bedsit in London. I’m hoping that they can create a platform and a good place to live here in their hometown.” John says that joining the Chamber of Commerce has helped him meet like minded business people and allowed him to shine the Alchemy light even brighter. “We are completely new in the area,” he says. “I haven’t been here since 1981, and none of our investors have. So we and the investors were really welcomed by the business community here. We love meeting with the other businesses, collaborating and talking to them. And the Chamber provides a good platform for that. We have joined a sub-committee around driving digital education through schools and so we have volunteered some of my staff to coach teachers. Being part of that discussion is driving a transformational approach to how we bring the future pipeline of employees with the right education.

And then there is the little things that are really important. We hired the Chamber to help our office launch, which went brilliantly. We had a fantastic turnout. There was a real buzz in the office and everyone got so excited about what we were doing. It was great.” For more information on Alchemy, log on to



Orthopedic surgeon Henry McGee on staying healthy at work Most of us spend at least 40 hours a week at our workplaces, sometimes hunched over a laptop or semi-slouched in front of a PC trying to get everything that needs done done.

Back pain

Particularly office workers can be prone to repetitive strain injury, sore necks and bad backs due to the length of time they spend sitting at a desk.

Unfortunately at every level of our spine we have discs and joints which start to wear out from a very young age. Even young people in their 20’s have problems. And because there are so many joints it is difficult to manage.

Retired Altnagelvin Hospital Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon Henry McGee (66) has some tips and tricks for staying healthy and pain free while at work.

Neck pain, shoulder pain and repetitive strain problems Simple measures that people can take to prevent these type of problems are having your chair at the correct level, particularly for your neck. If you neck is in extension, in other words you are looking upwards, or if it is too low, your neck gets flexed, it will cause issues for you. You have to try to have your seat adjusted so that it is at the correct level. The principles of management of any arthritic conditions is to try and maintain as much mobility as you can. I would try simple stretching exercises. If your movement is extremely limited you are going to get discomfort in everyday activities. Whereas if you can maintain a good range of motion, you can certainly avoid that.


To avoid pain in the lower back, avoid sitting in lower chairs. It is important to have the back supported and have the lumber spine in a slightly flexed position.

Getting up and moving about and maintaining mobility is a simple measure that would help that. Good abdominal muscle tone is important also. The seating is hugely important when thinking about back care. Your back needs to be properly supported. And again it’s about making sure your levels are adjusted in the correct manner in the place where you are working.

Knees and hips People with arthritic knees can work hard on the same principles. They need to maintain good muscle function - the quadriceps muscles function - and they can do this by using a good exercise bike or a cross trainer and keeping their weight down. In the sitting position, the knee will tend to stiffen up again, so getting up from time to time and moving around is a good practice. Working on mobility and muscle strength is also key.

Henry McGee is a retired orthopaedic surgeon

The hips would be very similar. You need to be maintaining as much motion as you can. An exercise bike and cross trainer would be good for that also. Maintaining your fitness is very important.

Lifting When you bend down to lift something it is a combination of movement of your spine, your hips and your knees. What you are trying to do is to use your knees, to bend down to avoid straining your back. If you bend down with your knees straight, you are putting the maximum strain on your lower back. If you look at it like a lever, there is a huge strain on there. But if you get lower down, you are

lifting much more with your legs and they are taking the strain off your back.

In short I would advise people to get up and walk about every half an hour. It is important just to have a short break. That not only helps your neck and back, but it also helps you work better. Drinking water is also important to maintain good metabolism. Also take into account glasses. If your glasses are the wrong strength and you have to lean over to look at your computer, that will affect your posture.


Reach your Peak who are currently completing their MSc in Sports Medicine.

Established in 2014 by Derry natives Martin Dunlop, Steph Keys and Paddy O Donnell, Peak Physiotherapy Clinic aims to provide high quality Physiotherapy

An exciting and much needed women’s health service has been launched by Steph who is passionate about raising the awareness of pelvic floor related issues. This service currently offers treatment for pregnancy related pain. A post natal specialist assessment in the form of the MummyMOT and assessment and treatment for incontinence and prolapse in women of any age.

Drawing from their extensive experience from the NHS in both England and NI and sport from grassroots to Olympic athletes the team aim to provide accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment plans. All therapists have extensive clinical skills using a combination of manual therapy, acupuncture, taping, rehabiliation exercises, postural, ergonomic and return to sport advice and education. Based in the Northwest Business Park in Skeoge Road Peak Physiotherapy Clinic houses clinical rooms and a

rehabilitation suite. The clinic offers ante and post natal Pilates and beginners Pilates which are incredibly popular. Strength and Conditioning classes for runners are hosted by Martin and Paddy



Fitness expert Matthew Norrby on keeping fit in the business world By Matthew Norrby Let’s be honest, the majority of us know what we need to do to better our health. Whether that be as simple as exercising more regularly, cleaning up our eating habits, getting more sleep, or reducing stress, we all face our own unique barriers. The things that impact our lack of exercise may at times be out of our control, but the main objections and observations I hear from busy professional clients are a lack of time, a lack of energy, and a lack of guidance. For many, a typical work day could involve up to 12 hours of work, a ton of stress, and regularly missing out on family time and sleep. Which leaves many of us scratching our heads asking the question ‘how will I find the time and energy to invest in a diet and exercise regimen, and how will I use my limited time and energy to yield the best results? So here are five of the most effective tips to keep you on track. They’re here to help you build positive habits and make lasting changes in your life. Use them wisely and let me know how it goes.

Matthew at the gym

2. Treat your workout like a meeting with your most important client. You wouldn’t let anyone or some menial task keep you from attending either of these so don’t let it happen with your workout.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

Consistency is king when it comes to fitness. The more you show up, the more it becomes habit, and the more likely you are to -Arnold Schwarzenegger continue.

1. Prepare in Bulk Starting with snacks, once a week prepare healthy options for the coming week so that you don’t have to search for food when you have cravings. TRY THIS: • Smarter food choices • Fruit and veg pots • Nuts/seeds with peanut butter • Bunch them in fives and place in ziplock bags so they’re ready to grab when you’re ready to go.


TRY THIS: • Schedule your workouts on your work calendar for a month out. • Alert all necessary parties that your unavailable during this hour. • Turn off your phone or at least the ringer so your workout isn’t interrupted.

3. Get a Coach Have you ever seen the majority of people at your typical globo gym? Most of them have been going for years and haven’t changed one bit.

Left to their own devices, most people will avoid hard work. A coach will challenge you and focus on building your weaknesses. This will break through plateaus that may have been holding you back for a while. TRY THIS: • Find a coach that appeals to you either in person or online. • Make sure you find a coach, not a personal trainer. A coach plays the role of helping you manage your nutrition, physical, and mental game. • Commit to a specific amount of time with your coach. Putting your money where your mouth is will keep you coming back in to get your money’s worth.

4. Fill 3/4 of your shopping trolley from the produce section One downfall of the paleo revolution is the increase in proteins without the increase in vegetables.

Creating personal strategies for a future of possibilities...

Tipping the scales back to vegetable heavy meals can initiate the body composition change you’ve been looking for. The more variety you’re picking up in the produce section, the greater intake of micronutrients you’re taking in. These nutrients fuel your body to perform at its peak. TRY THIS: • Go to the grocery store with a couple of vegetable heavy recipes you’ve researched. This will make sure the veggies you buy don’t go uncooked because you’re not sure how to prepare them • Immediately cook a couple dishes once you get home. This will make sure you have meals ready when you need them and keep you from putting it off till later. • Repeat Tip 1

5. Always pack workout clothes

Whether traveling or going to the office. Having workout clothes staring you in the face will make you much more likely to use them Buy new workout clothes. The old sweats and shoes you have from 10 years ago won’t make you feel good about putting them on. Clothes that fit you properly, shoes that fit and were made for fitness. TRY THIS: • Pack your workout bag with all your toiletries. Towel, deodorant, toothbrush etc. You’ll come out feeling like a new person after your workout is done. • Make it a daily habit by packing your bag the night before. If you go or not, it will be ready the next time you are. • When you travel, commit an area of your bag to one set of workout clothes. Instead of plopping on the bed after a day of work in your hotel bed, throw those clothes on and go find the hotel gym. If they don’t have one, make up a workout in your room. Follow these steps and you’ll be sure to be on your way to achieving that balance back into your life.

Personal, Executive and Group coaching for: Increased Effectiveness Work / Life Balance Career Development Practical Mindfulness Self-esteem / Confidence Return to Work

t: 07719 302 988 e: w: 77

Employers, Do you need workers? Employers, searching for staff from across the border? Let us help - the EURES Cross Border Partnership.

Advice and support for the cross border jobseeker, worker and employer. This publication has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI� (2014 - 2020). For further information please consult: 78





Transform your office space with our range of pods, hubs, booths and huts. To learn more visit

101 Spencer road, Derry | T. 02871 311 741 |