Magazine of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce
POWERING THE NORTH WEST ECONOMY
62nd Annual Presidentâ€™s Dinner Derry Credit Union celebrates 60th anniversary Focus on Professional Services Chamber Member News
Jo Aston, Managing Director, SONI
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contents 6 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE 16 Cover Story
SONI launches its Strategy 2020-25 in the North West
22 Chamber Life 26 The 62nd Annual President’s Dinner 28 O’Neills
Kieran Kennedy talks to CONNECTED about how Derry Girls helped save the city’s last shirt factory
30 Derry Credit Union
Derry Credit Union celebrates its 60th anniversary in the city
50 Down Memory Lane
We speak to Dermot Morrow, owner and founder of Tomorrows Bridal & Menswear
62 Welcome to the Chamber 70 The Final Word
By Ashleen Feeney, KPMG
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 Brown O’Connor Communications Content Editors Carol Kelly Mairead Reid Production & Design Big Moo Design Advertising Mairead Reid Email Address email@example.com Front Cover Image Stephen Latimer Photography
Londonderry Chamber of Commerce President Brian McGrath Business Operations Manager Carol Kelly Business Development Executive Mairead Reid Events & Communications Assistant Padraig Mallet Accounts Assistant Caroline Murphy
Message from the Chamber team Welcome to the 11th edition of CONNECTED, the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce magazine. This issue comes at a precarious time for Northern Ireland. While we are glad that a disastrous no-deal Brexit has been avoided for now, business here waits to see if a deal will be agreed in the new year following the upcoming General Election.
This edition of CONNECTED shows yet again there is a vibrancy and hunger for progress in our local economy in spite of the obvious difficulties. In this edition we take a look at the flourishing professional services sector in the North West and the good news stories which show how resilient and strong our local business community is. We have excellent features on our local legal professionals, IT consultants, accountants, HR executives and everything else in between. These experts offer sound, strategic advice and provide other businesses with confidence and security when taking crucial decisions to expand and grow. Professional services specialists are key partners for our local businesses now and their importance is increasingly evident. This edition of CONNECTED also features an in-depth interview with SONI’s Jo Aston after the launch of its new, ambitious corporate plan ‘Strategy 2020-2025’. The Chamber recently hosted a major energy conference in partnership with SONI, discussing how energy can drive the North West economy and how SONI intends to reach ambitious green energy targets over the next five years. We also hear from the likes of Find Insurance, Dawn McLaughlin and Co, and HR Team about how they can help drive growth and expansion in your business. I hope you enjoy this issue of CONNECTED and can learn more about how professional services providers can help guide you to your goals and become a key partner in the growth of your business.
Business Operations Manager t: 028 7126 2379 w: londonderrychamber.co.uk
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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.
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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Welcome to all of our members and thank you to those who have contributed to this edition of CONNECTED magazine. This is my last edition as President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. The past 12 months have been an immense personal and professional privilege. I’ve seen first-hand this year just how strong and resilient businesses are in the North West. The twin pressures of Brexit and an absent Stormont loom large but businesses here push on regardless. Our tourism and hospitality sectors have responded fantastically to a boom in international visitors and major international events like The Open Championship in July, and we expect to attract even more from around the world next year. Despite numerous challenges, our retail businesses are going from strength to strength. We’ve seen hundreds of new jobs created and, with the announcement of a City Deal package for Derry and Strabane, we can attract more inward investment and job creation. It is crucial that we work closely with our city partners to make this a reality. Given our unique location on the border, and as a gateway to both the UK and Europe, we were pleased that the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland the Rt Hon. Julian Smith MP chose Derry as the location for his first official engagement back in July. It’s clear to everyone the negative impact that an unmanaged exit from the EU will have on the North West economy, on both sides of the border, and we emphasised to Mr Smith how crucial it is to leave with a deal for our businesses. The Annual President’s Dinner on 11 October was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all our members over the past 12 months. The dinner is the highlight of the Chamber’s social calendar and I’m sure everyone had a fantastic evening. This edition of CONNECTED highlights the best and brightest in the growing professional services sector here in the North West. From legal experts and accountants to architects and IT specialists, the professional services industry here is growing rapidly. Businesses are relying on their trusted and strategic business advice to help expand, and their innovative and unique skills are helping to drive the North West economy.
Brian McGrath Outgoing President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.
I am proud to have been your President and represented your interests over the past year. I want to thank everyone at Chamber who has worked incredibly hard and provided fantastic support this year and, above all else, the members. The North West business community is packed with talent and innovation and is now a key driver of the Northern Ireland economy. In my role as President over the past year, I have engaged with business leaders and politicians from across the UK, Ireland and Europe, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the North West’s voice is heard loud and clear. I wish my successor
every success in carrying on our great work and I hope to see the North West continue to be a vibrant and attractive place to live, work and do business.
Brian McGrath Outgoing President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce
BISHOP’S GATE HOTEL
Hotel Heroes Reach New Heights People are the lifeblood of the hotel industry and to celebrate its 20th anniversary the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) recognised twenty hotel heroes at a special awards ceremony in the Observatory at Grand Central Hotel, Belfast.
their hotel and the hospitality sector over the years. I have worked as a Hotel Chef for 35 years in Northern Ireland and I enjoy every aspect of the role. I am delighted to be part of an award-winning team who strive to offer a genuine welcome to all our guests.
The excitement was palpable as the heroes were welcomed by host Pamela Ballantine and their significant contribution to the industry was recognised.
“For many years, I have lectured at the North West Regional College encouraging young people to consider a career in hospitality. I am very proud of the talent that we have locally and I am committed to developing and maintaining professionalism within this fantastic sector. To be nominated for a NIHF Hotel Hero award is wonderful.”
Hotel Hero, Paul Sharkey, Executive Chef at Bishop’s Gate Hotel says: “This event recognises the talented individuals who have contributed so much to
Ciaran O’Neill and NIHF Hotel Hero Paul Sharkey from Bishop’s Gate Hotel with NIHF President Gavin Carroll.
The twenty hotel heroes received an individual trophy on the night and were invited along as guests to this year’s Hospitality Exchange in Crowne Plaza Belfast.
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Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) at Altnagelvin Hospital Celebrates 10th Anniversary partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council and Ulster University to support our doctors and nurses who are working on a number of clinical trials and look forward to continuing to develop further in the future which will ultimately benefit and transform the lives of our patients.”
C-TRIC Partners and Guests pictured at the recent C-TRIC 10th Anniversary Celebration
This year the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) celebrates 10 years of a unique partnership between Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC), Ulster University (UU) and the NHS through the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust). Based on the Altnagelvin Hospital site in Derry/Londonderry, C-TRIC has been instrumental in facilitating healthcare research, by bringing together clinicians, academic university staff and industry to achieve better outcomes for patients both locally and internationally. Dr Aaron Peace, Chief Executive Officer for C-TRIC and Director of Research and Development for the Western Trust said: “We are delighted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of C-TRIC with our partners and highlight the many successes which have been achieved to date. Through this unique partnership approach we have delivered on many types of research study including Personalised Medicine in Cancer diagnosis and treatment, Human Factor studies for diabetic patients and Genomic studies to understand the basis of long-term medical conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Asthma. Dr Peace continued: “C-TRIC facilitates up to 150 clinical studies per year, and to date the partners in C-TRIC have together recruited several thousand
patients from our local community in the North West. As a result of these activities the partners in C-TRIC have facilitated economic growth through job creation with numbers increasing from approximately 15 in 2009 to almost 100 in 2019. C-TRIC has partnered and delivered on contract research for Lantern Pharma in the US, NovaBiomedical in the US, Genomics Medicine Ireland in Dublin and Cirdan based in Northern Ireland to name a few. C-TRIC has also incubated several small and medium sized businesses, with a significant number securing further investment through Invest NI, one of the original backers of C-TRIC.” Dr Peace added: “We are very excited for the future, which will see the expansion of the C-TRIC building, facilitated by the money awarded through the City Deal initiative. The City Deal will allow us to build on the established C-TRIC model, thereby creating further jobs and bringing greater participation in research from our community.” Dr Anne Kilgallen, Western Trust Chief Executive and member of the C-TRIC Board said: “As one of the partners in C-TRIC the Western Trust’s Research and Development Department is delighted to celebrate this incredible milestone of clinical research and innovation. We are very proud of what has been achieved over the past 10 years by working in
C-TRIC held the 10th TMED Conference on 11th and 12th September 2019 in the City Hotel, Londonderry, with the theme of ‘Disruptive Innovation in Healthcare’. TMED has become a leading international meeting and this year it welcomed Professor Rafael Bengoa, the author of Chronicity as well as Systems not Structures. Professor Bengoa opened TMED10 which brought together leading local and international academic and clinical researchers whilst showcasing some of the leading industry involved in Life and Health Science. The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Cllr Michaela Boyle, said: “The TMED Conference was a fantastic opportunity to showcase C-TRIC’s role in leading on life and health science research and to bring together experts from across the world to share experiences and expertise. The Council is very proud of its involvement with C-TRIC and the work it does in facilitating healthcare research and is committed to working with its partners to deliver centres of innovation in Personalised Medicine as part of the City Deal initiative.” Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University commented; “The decade of C-TRIC’s sizeable impact is testament to the cross sector interdisciplinary partnership that facilitates life-changing translational and clinical research in the North West. Ulster University’s Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine based at C-TRIC led by Professor Tony Bjourson is a global driver of the enhancement of personalised medicine and has developed new biomarkers, diagnostics tools and data platforms that will revolutionise health care. C-TRIC’s success is a major boost to the collective ambitions of the city and region and we look forward to the development of the next ten years of the facility and the impact it will make globally while being rooted locally.“
Local Specsavers directors proud of successful new Waterside store Specsavers store directors Sean McCauley and Maeve Walsh are marking six months since opening their second Derry~Londonderry store, and both are thrilled with the response from customers to the Crescent Link retail park store which launched in June. “Our Ferryquay Street store this year celebrated 25 years of providing optical services to families and people of all ages and we wanted to spread the Specsavers messages of style, excellent value, good customer service and the importance of regular eye tests, making us more accessible to people in the Derry area and in the surrounding towns and villages” explains dispensing optician and director Maeve Walsh. “Opening a second store which complemented our cityside store was something Sean and I had been considering and researching for some time and it’s fabulous to see the idea become a reality.” The £200,000 investment by Sean and Maeve generated additional jobs bringing the total number of staff across both stores to 50 and becomes Specsavers 23rd store in Northern Ireland. “We’ve also got involved in various business and community programmes which help recognise and celebrate achievements by local companies, organisations and people including the Derry Journal People of the Year and CCI’s North West Business Awards. And in memory of our much-loved store manager Michelle Doherty we raised over £3000 with
Specsavers staff take part in charity walk in memory of late store manager Michelle Doherty. The team raised over £3000 for Foyle Hospice.
the help of our very generous customers for Foyle Hospice,” explained optometry director Sean McCauley who also undertakes a strategic planning and development role with Specsavers as its NI Regional Chair.
Glaucoma Week which encourage people of all ages to get their eyes tested every two years and make eye health as much a priority as good medical or dental health.
Promoting good eye health is a key priority for the teams in both Derry stores. Specsavers stores NI wide are very much involved in annual health campaigns such as National Eye Health Week and World
“Audiology is a growing service that we offer with our audiologist and hearcare assistants providing regular hearcare clinics and support services.” For more information on both Specsavers Derry stores visit www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/ derry and www.specsavers. co.uk/stores/crescentlink
President’s Annual Dinner raises over £4300 for local charity Liberty Consortium Local charity and inclusive play and educational facility the Liberty Consortium @ the Playtrail has received a cheque for over £4300 from the Derry Chamber. The Playtrail, which provides a range of selfled and programmed opportunities for young people aged 15-25 years old with learning disabilities, autism, sensory and physical disabilities, was this year’s Annual President’s Dinner chosen charity. A total of £4395.62 was raised at the dinner on 11 October at the Everglades Hotel. A number of local businesses kindly donated products and gifts to our raffle and guests donated very generously to the collection.
Anne Marie Donnelly, Transition Services Manager at the Playtrail, said, “We are incredibly grateful for this sizeable donation from the Chamber. Donations are vital to providing the services we do and we are very pleased with how much was raised at the President’s Dinner. Our programmes, which operate over five days a week, three evenings and weekends, aim to engage young people with disabilities and help to increase their skills, confidence and independence. We offer over 250 places a week for young people who normally would be stuck at home if these
programmes didn’t exist.” Carol Kelly, Business Operations Manager at the Chamber said, “We are over the moon with how much we managed to raise at our Annual President’s Dinner. The Playtrail does wonderful work for young people in the city and we know this donation will go a long way in providing even more inclusive experiences. A big thank you must go to everyone who donated on the night and all the businesses and organisations who donated prizes for the raffle.”
FinTrU celebrateS first year in the North West Award-winning financial services firm FinTrU recently celebrated a successful first year in the city. Founded in 2013, FinTrU provides regulatory resourcing services, including: legal, risk, compliance, KYC, operations and consultancy, to Tier 1 Investment Banks in London, New York, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo.
FinTrU North West Office Greg McCann said, “When I look back at the past year, the overwhelming feeling I have is one of pride. We announced our biggest strategic move to date a year ago, expanding to a new site, in a new city, with multiple new teams and we executed the plan Graduates participating in the FinTrU NW Assured Skills Academy we set out to achieve.” in September 2019.
The company has created over 100 new jobs in the North West over the past 12 months for graduates and experienced professionals, with over 300 total jobs planned over the next five years as part of a £38m expansion. FinTrU is committed to giving local talent the opportunity to work on a global stage with the largest international investment banks.
“The North West was a natural choice for us when considering a second location. We needed to look outside of Belfast and our experience to date has completely affirmed that decision.”
Reflecting on the last year, Executive Director and Head of
FinTrU has firmly planted itself in the community in the North West, becoming an active member of the Chamber, building links with Ulster University, North West Regional College and Letterkenny IT, and sponsoring major events like the Chamber’s Annual
President’s Dinner and the City of Derry International Choir Festival. The company is also involved in the Ulster University research study looking into the growth of the Business School as well as the cross-sectoral Smart Cities initiative in the city. Looking to the future, Greg said “I expect to see more of the same rapid growth for FinTrU North West. We are hugely ambitious for the North West Office and are already ahead of schedule to hire 305 staff over the next five years. We are also fully aware that we will be at full capacity at our current premises by the year-end, so watch this space in terms of new additional office space!”
SEC celebrates 20 years in business North West Business-Education Partnership and charity, School Employer Connections (SEC) recently celebrated its 20th year in business. Established in 1999, SEC was set up by business leaders to establish meaningful connections between schools and employers to ensure that employers could play their part in preparing students for the world of work. The initiative has grown substantially over the past 20 years, providing work-related learning in the form of work experience placement opportunities to over 21,000 students from more than 70 post-primary schools from Counties Derry-Londonderry, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Antrim, linking them directly with over 900 employers. Led by Owen Crozier, SEC bridges the gap between the world of education and the world of work through three main activities: work experience placements, which provide students with up to a week of hands-on, practical experiences in the workplace with a host business; the Class Programme, which helps students with specific elements of their course and class work by allowing them to witness theory
in action and learn how industry professionals address tasks and implement different ideas and processes; and the Events Programme which helps schools introduce large groups of students to different career sectors and industries and the world of work. “Over 24,000 of our 16-24-year olds in Northern Ireland are not in training, education or work. Our main objective is to provide young people in the North West with workrelated or workplace learning opportunities as they make the transition between postprimary education and the world of work”, said Owen. “This stage in a young person’s life is absolutely crucial to their career development. We support thousands of students across the North West every year, helping them make better informed career path decisions, and connecting them with employers in a wide range of career sectors and disciplines. Across all industries, particularly promoting STEM, digital technology, financial services, the knowledge economy and hospitality & tourism, we ensure every student we come across has access to opportunities to learn more about what they’re passionate about.”
Students participating in workplace placements facilitated by SEC.
As SEC celebrates its 20th anniversary, Owen said, “This is an opportunity to look back and reflect on our successes and achievements. We are incredibly proud of the work we have done since 1999 and a special thanks must go to all the businesses and schools who have worked with us to help prepare the future workforce, and to all our funders, particularly the Department of Education for NI, for its ongoing support throughout the 20 years.” For more information or to become involved with SEC by providing work experience placements and hosting study visits or events, visit www.schoolemployerconnections.org or contact email@example.com.
Terex unveils new £12million facility in Campsie Global manufacturing firm Terex recently expanded in the North West and opened a major £12m facility in Campsie. The US-based company, which recently recorded pre-tax profits of £50m this year, is among NI’s most profitable businesses, employing 1800 people across nine sites. The new 105,000 square foot facility manufactures waste management and recycling products, as well as mobile conveyors. Speaking at the site’s official opening in September, Kieran Hegarty, President, Terex Materials Processing emphasised its potential in fighting the climate crisis and said, “As people, businesses and governments become more aware of their carbon footprint
we’re seeing enormous growth in demand for environmental equipment globally. We’re excited that Terex Campsie has started producing equipment to cater for this market—the type of equipment capable of processing construction and demolition waste or everyday waste from your home—to be exported all over the world.” A number of local schools toured the new Campsie facility at the opening to learn about career opportunities with the manufacturing giant. Kieran said that this is crucial to ensure a strong future talent pool, saying “Whether you are an apprentice, an engineer or recent graduate, interested in engineering, manufacturing, finance, sales and marketing,
Kieran Hegarty, Terex and Tony Devlin, Terex.
administration, or human resources, Terex provides a structured career path with the ability to grow, innovate and help shape the future of our company and industry.” Kieran explained that Campsie was a natural choice for a new location for Terex, saying “A key reason for coming to the North West is an additional talent pool, and nurturing and growing talent internally is critical.” Derry City and Strabane District Council Deputy Mayor, Cllr Cara Hunter, welcomed the new facility and said it “reaffirms the North West’s position as a competitive, exciting and innovative place to do business.” 40 people have been employed already with a further 60 skilled jobs being filled over the next 12 months, generating an estimated £2m in annual salaries. Kieran explained, “We’ve a fantastic local team now in place and trained in our world-class manufacturing processes. “But we don’t stop there. Terex has ambitious plans for growth and just as important as this new facility and filling our current vacant positions is in developing and retaining our people, so we have the skills needed to deliver our ambitious growth plans.”
Aodhan McGilloway, Foyle College, Cllr Cara Hunter, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Kieran Hegarty, Terex, and Abbie Clifford, St Mary’s College.
Terex is the latest foreign company to recognise the immense potential of the North West and to invest significantly in the region. The firm adds to an already-strong manufacturing sector in the North West, providing well-paid and highly skilled jobs, as well as investing in young people and graduates.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
a day in the life Name Mary McKenna.
Hometown Doncaster, South Yorkshire is my hometown, but my adopted base has been Derry for the last 17 years. We call Greencastle, Inishowen home.
Company Having successfully started and grown a fast-growing tech company in Derry I wanted a new challenge. I now focus on supporting and adding value to the many companies and organisations I work with locally, regionally and nationally.
Job Title ‘Chief Connector of people & causes’ - a tech entrepreneur by trade and angel investor by principle, a mentor, blogger, entrepreneur-in-residence, event MC and everything in between. I’m a risk taker, confidante, horse backer, critical friend, cheerleader & hugger (when needed).
Describe what your job involves
I don’t have a defined job but I do have an occupation that utilises a lot of my time. This involves talking to many start-ups and entrepreneurs, reviewing business plans, value propositions, pitch decks and too many skype calls, texts and emails to count! The closest approximation I have to a formal job is as jury member for the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Innovation programme, a role that is crucial for the discovery of bleeding edge innovation across Europe. I’m also nonexecutive director of three tech start-ups, a trustee of three large charities and entrepreneur-in-residence at St Mary’s College, working with our young women in the city– the most rewarding and important job of them all! This led me to co-found a social enterprise, Awaken Hub, with Clare McGee to encourage an entrepreneurial and start up culture in the North West, particularly in girls and women.
Describe in detail a day in your work A day in my working life might begin with some early entrepreneur one-to-one Skype calls in the morning (I actively work with about 20 entrepreneurs or founders at any one time), followed by running a couple of
high energy workshops at St Mary’s College and then a drive to Belfast for a MATRIX NI meeting and perhaps speaking at an evening event in one of the startup accelerators in Belfast or even Dublin. I’m a firm believer in paying it back (and paying it forward) in life and business. More full-on days start with a 2-hour drive to Belfast International, a long day of backto-back meetings in London and a late return to Greencastle at around midnight.
What has been your most memorable day in work? Without doubt my most memorable day ever at work was meeting Barack and Michelle Obama in the White House on St Patrick’s Day 2011. Michelle Obama actually hugged me! I also spent an amazing week in Austin, Texas as a guest of Michael Dell at Dell World 2015. Michael Dell dropped out of medical school when he was 19 to start his own business in his dad’s garage and he’s one of my all-time business heroes so it was fantastic to meet him.
What is your greatest achievement? That’s a hard question to answer.
I have to say it’s probably making payroll at Learning Pool every month for 8 years and offering young people in the North West good jobs with defined career development paths and rewarding salaries. I am proud to be one of the first people awarded an MBE by HM the Queen for services to digital technology and innovation in 2014.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given in work? Always be able to articulate your value proposition in a sentence or two. The number of people I meet who can’t tell me what their business is about in less than 5 minutes is worrying.
Has anyone stood out with a particularly striking business idea? I see hundreds or maybe thousands of pitches every year. Unfortunately, the really striking ideas are usually the ones that aren’t investable!
What qualities do you think make good entrepreneurs in your experience? Curiosity, self-belief, a hard work ethic and resilience are all good qualities in an entrepreneur. Good manners and being kind will take you a long way.
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SONI – Helping power the North West economy Brian McGrath, Derry Chamber, Richard Rodgers, Department for the Economy, Jo Aston, SONI, Cecil McBurney, RiverRidge, and Jamie Delargy, event host.
After the North West launch of SONI’s new ‘Strategy 2020-2025’, CONNECTED sat down with Managing Director Jo Aston to discuss how Northern Ireland can transition to green energy sources, how energy can drive the North West economy, and what all this means for local businesses. The climate crisis and green activism have dominated the news agenda in 2019. There has never been such a focus on our natural world and how we can limit the damage that has been done to it and protect it for future generations. As Jo explains, SONI is keen to play its own part in this huge global campaign. “The desire to protect what we have for future generations is now seen as a major priority and like many others, SONI is putting the environment at the heart of its own work, bringing forward a new ambitious strategic plan that will transform how we power our grid over the next decade. “We are proud to have recently launched Strategy 2020-25 which is a direct response to the climate crisis and a clear commitment by SONI
to ensuring that we are part of this global movement. “Our new strategic plan will ensure that Northern Ireland’s grid can handle 95% renewable energy at any one time. This pioneering ambition will see a significant increase from the current figure of 65%. We are very serious about making this a reality. “Key to the new strategy is upgrading the power system so that it can handle these world-leading levels of renewable energy, supplied through a combination of wind and solar energy.” The SONI strategy was launched in October 2019 and key pillars of the strategy are SONI’s engagement and partnership programmes. Recognising the importance of
Jo Aston, Managing Director, SONI.
effective collaboration, the strategy outlines the organisation’s goal to work with government, generators, NIE Networks and the Utility Regulator to deal with the rapid changes to the energy industry, including the move to electric vehicles and electric heating in homes. The strategy also commits SONI to deeper and broader
around this new strategy. Business can play a crucial role in the decarbonisation of our economy and we are keen to take every opportunity we can to exchange views and ideas with business leaders in the North West. “Travelling to Derry-Londonderry and launching the plan locally is an important part of that because it helps make the strategy feel relevant to more people and shows that transitioning to more climate-friendly energy sources is everyone’s responsibility and in everyone’s interest. Jo Aston launching SONI’s new ‘Strategy 2020-2025’ in the North West.
“SONI is committed to doing all it can to tackle the climate crisis. Our proposals are ambitious but necessary to help reach the UK government’s target of achieving zero net carbon emissions by 2050. “What many people might not realise is that the North West is host to a significant amount of renewable energy, almost 400 Megawatts, and that is enough to power one third of all homes in Northern Ireland and that is set to increase in the future. That is so encouraging and it is through this type of leadership by example that will allow us to tackle this crisis head on.” “It is our job now to ensure the power grid can get this clean green energy from where it is produced to where it is needed, and this means we will have to upgrade and improve the grid in the North West.
Brian McGrath, Derry Chamber, Jo Aston, SONI, and Jamie Delargy, event host.
engagement with local communities on the electricity grid infrastructure needed to enable the power system transformation.
Chamber on 5 November, where SONI outlined its strategy to more than 70 business leaders from the region.
SONI is also committed to ensuring that businesses are fully behind its ambitions and has been engaging on the new strategy with business groups and other key stakeholders right across Northern Ireland.
Attendees heard about how efficient and affordable energy can help drive the North West regional economy and the specific role that businesses can play in transitioning to more climate-friendly energy sources and energy efficiency measures.
Part of this series of engagements saw an event held in partnership with the
Jo continued: “Engagement is a key component in realising our ambitions
“This will mean a stronger grid, with a more secure supply of electricity; ensuring that local businesses and industry has the power it needs to expand. “That’s why it is so important to engage with businesses across the North West like we did at our North West event and we would encourage everyone to take a look at our strategy and decide how they can also play a part in arresting the climate crisis.”
CITY OF DERRY AIRPORT
Enjoy Friendly, Convenient Business Travel with NEW London Southend Service A new service from City of Derry Airport to London Southend Airport has taken off with Loganair! This is ideal for anyone travelling to the UK capital for business; offering a friendly, convenient travel experience, with double daily flights available from Sunday to Friday (and once on a Saturday), with fares starting from just £39.99pp including baggage. London Southend Airport has been rated as the Best London Airport by Which Magazine for the last six consecutive years and its easy to see why - when travelling via London Southend Airport you will benefit from checkin and security queues that are 10 minutes or less and a maximum three-minute walk from the departure lounge to any gate. London Southend Airport also has a train station located 100 steps from the terminal and a direct train available to London Liverpool Street Station every 15mins – ideal if you are staying in the city centre on your trip. The commute to Central London is just 52 minutes and passengers can purchase an anytime train ticket for £17.40. Don’t forget to enjoy the perks of World Duty Free shopping, iconic retail brands and the Beauty Bar and Champagne Bar available at London Southend Airport on your return journey! Fare prices from City of Derry Airport to London Southend Airport start from just £39.99pp one way and, as standard with Loganair, 20kg hold baggage and 6kg hand luggage fly for free,
complimentary in-flight refreshments are provided and 33% discount is available on child fares. Flights are available to book now via www.loganair.co.uk.
Loganair, and Edinburgh and Liverpool with Ryanair throughout the week.
If yourself, or your family and friends travel regularly, it’s well worth signing up to Loganair’s frequent flyer programme, ‘Clan Loganair’, via www.loganair.co.uk. The reward scheme allows you to collect points each time you fly with the airline which can be used towards a free flight of your choice! Exclusive offers on hotels and restaurants are also available for members.
The beauty of flying from your local airport should be a smooth, stress-free experience, cost-effective car-parking and convenient transport links. You can relax before your flight by pre-booking into the Amelia Earhart Lounge where you can avail of complimentary drinks, snacks and television entertainment in a tranquil space whilst enjoying fantastic views of the airfield and surrounding area. Visit prebook.cityofderryairport. com to book.
As well as flights to London Southend, City of Derry Airport offers direct travel to Manchester and Glasgow with
Book your business travel from City of Derry Airport to London Southend by visiting www.cityofderryairport.com.
ai157547457916_UO Corporate - Derry Chambers Ad.pdf
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Where next? 21
Sue Gray, Department of Finance, Brian McGrath, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, and Carol Kelly, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.
chamber life Itâ€™s been a non-stop end to the year as we had our Annual Presidentâ€™s Dinner, hosted a major energy event, and delivered some excellent networking events in partnership with our members. As 2019 winds down, the restoration of an Executive at Stormont looks further away than ever, we have a general election to look forward to, and another Brexit deadline in the New Year. The business community in the North West however has been very busy since the last edition of CONNECTED was released, with events, workshops, training events and engagements with key politicians. On 26 June, Daniel McLaughlin from technology services firm MCL Services delivered an important workshop on cyber security for business leaders. Small
businesses are often more at risk as they tend to have less security in place than larger companies. Kindly sponsored by Rainbow Communications and hosted at our offices, our members learned how to protect their businesses, data and assets from hackers. On 26 July, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Julian Smith MP met with our President, Brian McGrath, and a delegation of business leaders from the North West in his first official engagement since assuming the role. Brian emphasised to Mr Smith that businesses in the North West
needed certainty and support over Brexit and that any hardening of the border would be disastrous for businesses here, given our unique location. A full range of topics were discussed including the lack of government at Stormont, infrastructure improvements to increase connectivity to and from the region, the announcement of the City Deal package earlier in the year and what we can do to ensure the speedy roll out of the programme, and greater support for skills and education. It was emphasised to Mr Smith that the City Deal has the potential to
and other promotional materials and had two minutes to pitch themselves and their businesses, a fantastic opportunity to advertise and make new contacts.
Chamber President Brian McGrath welcomes new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Julian Smith MP to the North West.
The Chamber hosted a business rates consultation workshop with the Department of Finance in September.
transform the region and the roll out of the package must be without delay. Continuing with Brexit engagements, President Brian McGrath attended a roundtable discussion with Cabinet Minister responsible for no-deal preparation Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, hosted by the NI Chamber in Belfast on 10 August. Again, Brian stressed that a no-deal Brexit would be unthinkable for businesses in the North West and emphasised how important
it was that the government worked hard to come to a suitable agreement with the EU. The Maldron Hotel hosted our last speed networking event of the year on 5 September. Very well attended by members and non-members alike, these events are always one of the most effective ways to develop connections between businesses and promote business to business trade. Attendees brought business cards
On 17 September, Dawn and Noel from Dawn McLaughlin & Co Chartered Accountants provided a masterclass on cash flow. Kindly sponsored by Rainbow Communications, the Cash Management for Growth masterclass emphasised the importance of positive cash flow to the efficient running of a business. As expert accountants Dawn and Noel explained to members that positive cash flow is crucial to ensuring you pay your bills on time, ensuring your business isn’t saddled with bad debt, and to growing your business and investing for the future. The Department of Finance launched a consultation on business rates in September to review the current system and to collect views and recommendations to “ensure that the business rates system is effective and fair”. The Chamber hosted a workshop with the department’s Permanent Secretary Sue Gray at the City Hotel on 23 September. Business leaders from across the North West were invited to consult with officials from the department’s Rates Unit and the Innovation Lab and give their views on how best to address the burden that business rates can often present. Speaking at the workshop, President Brian McGrath said “we cannot allow rates to be a deterrent for people starting up or growing their businesses and it’s important that the rating system works for everyone, both in terms of contributing towards our public services, but also allowing businesses to flourish and create prosperity for our region.” Members welcomed the opportunity to engage directly with the department and were encouraged to submit their feedback in writing also.
We popped just over the border to the An Grianan Hotel in Burt, Co Donegal two days later on 25 September for a lunchtime business seminar in collaboration with EURES. The Employers Incentive lunch explored and discussed incentives and support for SMEs in the cross-border region on issues of employment and recruiting cross-border workers. This event was very useful for businesses and members concerned that Brexit may affect the employment rights and status of their crossborder or EU workers. Carol Kelly, EURES advisor for the area, informed attendees of the free services offered by the EURES Cross Border Partnership and attendees felt the event helped establish and strengthen links between EURES and their businesses. Altnagelvin Hospital Consultant Cardiologist Dr Aaron Peace was our guest speaker for Café Conversations at The Sandwich Co on 27 September. Dr Peace has been Consultant Cardiologist at the hospital since January 2013 and is also CEO of C-TRIC (Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre). He spoke to a full house about the work C-TRIC does in translating medical research into innovative medical practices which ultimately improve health outcomes and patient care. C-TRIC was established in late 2008 and is a state-ofthe-art clinical research facility based within Altnagelvin Area Hospital. Philip Gilliland, Managing Partner at Caldwell and Robinson Solicitors, hosted our next event on 1 October. The Director’s Responsibilities Workshop, sponsored by Rainbow Communications, focused on the legal duties and responsibilities a company director has. Attendees learned about the laws which affect the roles and responsibilities of a company director and gained a greater awareness of issues like health and safety, insolvency, liability and the Companies Act 2006. Our flagship event of the year, the 62nd President’s Annual Dinner, was held in the stunning Everglades Hotel on 11 October. Hosted by broadcaster and journalist Claire McCollum and with entertainment by comedian Neil Delamere, sponsored by Frylite, O’Neills, FinTrU and Diamond Corrugated, over 350 people from more than 100 companies across Northern Ireland attended the dinner. Full coverage of the event can be found on pages 26 and 27.
President Brian McGrath and Past President Jennifer McKeever welcome a visiting Chinese delegation to the North West.
Greg McCann, FinTrU, Brian McGrath, Derry Chamber, Andrew Jenkins, Fintech Envoy for Northern Ireland, Carol Kelly, Derry Chamber, Leo Murphy, North West Regional College, and Aidan O’Kane, Allstate.
On 16 October, President Brian McGrath helped welcome a visiting Chinese delegation to the city. The delegation, made up of members of the Chinese People’s Political Conference, met with representatives from the Chamber, North West Regional College and Ulster University during a series of engagements in Derry~Londonderry. The Chamber welcomed the opportunity to strengthen links with one of the
largest economies in the world and discuss greater investment and trade between China and the North West. The newly appointed Fintech Envoy for Northern Ireland made his first official visit to the North West on 31 October. Andrew Jenkins, appointed by the HM Treasury in September, is responsible for promoting Northern Ireland’s thriving Fintech
Chamber President Brian McGrath addressing our energy event in partnership with SONI.
Katrina Godfrey, Department for Infrastructure, Brian McGrath, Derry Chamber, and David Sterling, Northern Ireland Civil Service at the Annual President’s Dinner.
Jamie Delargy, Host, Jo Aston, SONI, Brian McGrath, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Richard Rodgers, Department for the Economy, and Cecil McBurney, RiverRidge.
sector and championing it as a place for firms to continue to develop and grow their businesses. Envoy Jenkins met with President Brian McGrath and several key Fintech leaders in the North West including Aidan O’Kane, Senior Manager in Allstate, Greg McCann, Executive Director of FinTrU and Leo Murphy, Principal of North West Regional College. The Chamber hosted a major energy event in partnership with SONI, the company responsible for operating Northern Ireland’s electricity grid, on 5 November. Held in the Waterfoot Hotel and sponsored by RiverRidge, SONI launched its new Strategy 2020-2025,
an ambitious plan which will allow the grid to handle 95 per cent renewable energy sources at any one time. Speaking to over 70 attendees, SONI Managing Director Jo Aston outlined how energy can power the regional economy and said that the North West is already host to a significant amount of renewable energy - almost 400 Megawatts enough to power one third of all homes in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the event, President Brian McGrath said, “our members were eager to hear about how energy can drive the local economy and how SONI plans to reach world-leading levels of renewable energy use over the next five years without passing on the costs to businesses and consumers alike. The Chamber recognises that effective collaboration between SONI and business is crucial to help reach its target of making Northern Ireland a world-leader in green energy use but also to help businesses here become more cost-competitive as a way of attracting further inward investment.” We held our last Café Conversations of 2019 on 21 November with Kieran
Kennedy from O’Neills. Again hosted in The Sandwich Co, Kieran spoke about his 40 plus year experience with O’Neills, the international sportswear company based in Strabane. Topics of discussion included the strategic growth of the company, the challenges retailers and manufacturers face concerning Brexit, and training, skills and apprenticeships in the North West. Our final member event of the year was another Director’s Responsibilities Workshop, hosted by Caldwell and Robinson. Sponsored by Seagate, Philip Gilliland and Emmet Maginn discussed with attendees the importance of keeping workplaces safe and secure, eliminating or mitigating health and safety risks, maintaining appropriate training, supervision and information for employees, and the potential of severe penalties for non-compliance.
Look Forward We are hosting our first #WellCONNECTED Speed Networking event of 2020 on 16th January at the Everglades Hotel between 5:30pm and 7pm. Our speed networking events are one of the most fun and effective ways to develop member connections and promote business to business trade.
Kieran Kennedy, O’Neills, Brian McGrath, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, and Eamon McCay, Frylite.
President’s Annual Dinner Guests at the annual Londonderry Chamber of Commerce President’s Dinner were told that the North West economy would be decimated if there is no breakthrough on customs arrangements and trade postBrexit.
Over 350 people attended the President’s Annual Dinner in the Everglades Hotel.
Attended by over 350 people from more than 100 companies across Northern Ireland and kindly sponsored by Frylite and O’Neills, the dinner celebrated a successful but challenging year for the Chamber and the North West business community. The programme was sponsored by FinTrU and packaging company Diamond sponsored the drinks reception. Speaking at the Chamber’s annual flagship event, President Brian McGrath said that the business community in the North West was united in its opposition to a no-deal, unmanaged Brexit. He said the worst fears of the business community could be realised unless political leaders got together to hammer out a deal which solved the customs issue.
Host Claire McCollum with guests
“The future prosperity for unionists and nationalists and everybody else for that matter, is going to come down to how we manage customs. A deal which applies trade tariffs will decimate the economy at a regional and national level and we are on the front line.
PRESIDENT’S ANNUAL DINNER
Guests enjoy the 62nd Annual President’s Dinner.
Brian McGrath, Derry Chamber, Paul Diamond, Diamond Corrugated, Mayor Michaela Boyle, Derry City and Strabane District Council, and Mary Diamond, Diamond Corrugated
Award-winning comedian Neil Delamere provided the evening’s entertainment.
Malachy O’Neill, Ulster University, Darragh McCarthy, FinTrU and Leo Murphy, North West Regional College
“It is unacceptable that Northern Ireland is being put in a position where it must make a choice between NorthSouth or East-West relationships. The decision is not a binary one and we cannot be party to a deal that puts 40,000 people out of work”, said Brian. “This was understood by the First and deputy First Ministers who in September 2016 committed to the idea that special arrangements would be necessary for NI after Brexit.” While the announcement of the City Deal package for the North West region, the creation of hundreds of new jobs, and improvements to the regional infrastructure in 2019 have been particularly welcome, the uncertainty concerning Brexit and the Executive at Stormont have caused worry and concern for businesses in the North West.
“At one of the most critical junctures in our recent history, we are still without an Executive. We are now 1,000 days without leadership at Stormont and that is impeding progress”, said Brian. “Businesses in the North West simply want to get on with the day job and create jobs and prosperity. We have a multitude of skilled people and innovative companies working in incredibly diverse areas. There is much potential to harness, if the conditions are right. “What we have been saying consistently as a business community is that we can grow our businesses, create more jobs and deliver economic success, provided we are given the right tools to get the job done.”
Martina Anderson MEP, Dolores O’Reilly and Elisha McCallion MP.
Mayor Cllr Michaela Boyle, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Brian McGrath, Derry Chamber, and Gregory Campbell MP.
The dinner was hosted by broadcaster and journalist Claire McCollum, with entertainment by award-winning comedian Neil Delamere.
Buzzing! O’Neills save the city’s last shirt factory with a little help from the Derry Girls O’Neills have produced a line of ‘Derry Girls’ themed jerseys.
Derry’s last remaining shirt factory was in danger of being lost forever but in a twist of fate, the popular TV show Derry Girls, was to play a major part in its revival. Managing Director of O’Neills Sportswear, Kieran Kennedy talks to us about how his company saved 20 jobs and the factory itself. “The city’s shirt-making heritage has been in steady decline for a number of decades but at one time, the industry employed over eight thousand people in 45 shirt factories and kept the region’s economy afloat during some very dark times. “In the North West we have a highly skilled shirt-making workforce and despite the changing business landscape, there is still a requirement for talent like this, particularly in our own business, making sportswear for teams around the world. “In July of this year, we heard the very sad news that the last remaining shirt factory in Derry, owned by Smyth & Gibson, was to close. We quickly reacted to this news by agreeing with the company that we would take on 20 of their very skilled employees – skills that are harder to find these days.
“That decision was initially rooted in a determination to save people’s jobs and the skills they possessed, but happily, we were also able to save the factory itself and preserve a piece of the city’s shirtmaking heritage.”
The former Smyth & Gibson shirt factory is now run by O’Neills, preserving a piece of the city’s shirt-making heritage.
In a further twist, the managing director of O’Neills saw an opportunity to reinvigorate the old factory by running a completely new line from its base at the foot of the Craigavon Bridge. “Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably watched the phenomenal TV show Derry Girls, written by the city’s very talented Lisa McGee. People in the North West are very proud of the success of one of their own and as a result we came up with the idea of putting the Derry Girls imagery and slogans on some of our jerseys. The line has been incredibly popular, and we now have five different jerseys depicting the show’s characters. We intend to launch a further design to add to our offering for the Christmas trade.”
“At O’Neills we are thrilled to have been able to safeguard a piece of Derry’s history by retaining these jobs on site at the old factory. The city and region is very proud of its history in this area and people still talk about the shirt factories with fond memories. “It was the original Derry Girls who went to work in the shirt factories and it’s a welcome coincidence that a new generation of Derry Girls have helped play a part in saving this factory and preserving these skills.”
Conor Friel appointed as General Manager at The City Hotel Derry The City Hotel Derry is pleased to announce the appointment of Conor Friel as the property’s General Manager. An energetic, talented and driven manager with substantial experience within the hotel industry, Conor has a passion for delivering first class service. Conor joined the hotel in 2009 fulfilling an operational role and has been involved in many aspects of the business. Before joining the City Hotel he gained twenty-seven years of experience across various disciplines all within the hospitality industry. His introduction to hospitality started whilst he was still at school when he got a job collecting glasses in the Dungloe bar to fund his bus fare to Strabane for basketball training! Even in his early career Conor’s aptitude for a managerial capacity was
recognised when he was promoted to bar manager by the age of 21. A business graduate from the University of Ulster and a native of the city, Conor is very proud of his local roots with his inspiration coming from his parents. His main interest outside of work is very much focused on family life and he is kept busy as he and his wife have just welcomed the arrival of their second child. With Conor’s invaluable knowledge of the hotel and proven record of running successful operations he is ready to hit the ground running in his new role. He commented, “I am delighted to take on the role of General Manager at the City Hotel and
I very much look forward to working alongside the excellent team which has been established and building on the success of the hotel in the future.”
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Derry Credit Union management team.
‘For people, not for profit’ Derry Credit Union still going strong at 60
This October, Derry Credit Union entered its sixtieth year serving members and the local community. Founded on 16 October 1960, Derry Credit Union has grown from very humble beginnings to become the largest community credit union in Northern Ireland. The first credit union in Northern Ireland, Derry Credit Union was formed by six likeminded, forward-thinking individuals. Pooling their modest combined savings of eight pounds and ten shillings, they learned from the fledgling Irish credit union movement and the well-established international movement to bring low cost, affordable credit to working class communities in the city which were effectively barred from accessing credit by larger banks and financial institutions. Derry Credit Union has undergone significant change and evolution since October 1960, as General Manager Joan Gallagher explains. “We have grown from an initial six founding members to a membership this year of 31,429, with a further 4,843 minor savers, and we employ 40 staff. In that time, we have issued
1,060,863 loans, have had 50,695 unique members, and injected £606,574,302 into the local economy. We had total assets of £97.6 million this financial year.” “We are immensely proud of what we have achieved since 1960 and we believe we offer a crucial service to the community here in Derry”, said Joan. “We often fund our members’ first car or their wedding day. We provide peace of mind by helping members save for a rainy day and we help meet funeral costs of a loved one. We provide affordable, low-cost loans which fund home improvements and education costs to round-theworld trips and everything else in between.
Sharon Doherty, Office Administrator and PA, and Carolann Doherty, Operations Manager.
“We’ve evolved considerably since our founding members first took the courageous decision to pool their own savings for the benefit of the wider community. We now offer a truly modern service to our members with online and mobile banking, our own Derry Credit Union app, and a full online loan service. We have adapted successfully to changes in consumer habits and we have listened to what
Christine McCartney, Receptionist.
Niamh Taggart, Member Services Officer.
our members need to provide a more convenient service.” Former President of Derry Credit Union, Alfie Bradley, recently explained why Derry Credit Union has reason to be proud of their achievements over the past 60 years and how it is now seen as a leader in the sector. “Derry Credit Union is viewed by the national and international credit union sectors and our regulators as setting the standard”, said Alfie. “We are the example of what can be achieved when committed, like-minded people work together. Over the decades, our membership has demonstrated that a community of reliable borrowers and savers can create a financial cooperative that is strong, sustainable and reliable.” Looking to the future, Joan said that, at the heart of Derry Credit Union, will always remain its members. “Our motto continues to be as relevant today as it was 60 years ago: for people, not for profit. Providing low-cost credit and loans to local people has been the key principle on which
we have operated since 1960. We will continue to provide excellent member care, to facilitate the financial well-being of our members, and remain member-focused to enable them to own and control their future.” To celebrate Derry Credit Union’s 60th anniversary, Derry Credit Union are introducing a special Diamond Loan in January 2020, for one year only, allowing members to borrow £6000 or more at 6% APR. A full range of anniversary events are also planned to celebrate and commemorate this milestone anniversary and further information will become available in the coming weeks and months. For more information, visit www.derrycu.com or phone 028 7126 6738.
Find Insurance turnover hits £15m as company goes from strength to strength CONNECTED talks to Colin Mullan, the Managing Director of Find Insurance NI about how the family run business is experiencing sustained business growth in a challenging economic climate. Find Insurance NI has been going from strength to strength in recent years. With an annual turnover of £15 million expected in 2020, the company has been growing by 20% year on year with further success expected into 2021. Led by Colin Mullan, there is now a team of 40 based at the Spencer Road office in the Waterside area of the city. Recently, the company took the decision to focus much of its resource on steadily expanding the commercial wing of its business, which has played a significant part in its growth over the past few years. Colin says, “After the relatively stable period we had moved into following the global recession, business finds itself back in the eye of the storm again with Brexit causing huge upheaval. Businesses want to get on with working, but the unavoidable fact is that for the past three years, many are in some sort of limbo because
the post-Brexit landscape still looks so uncertain. “Independent businesses can feel this sort of uncertainty more acutely because they might not have the resources to adequately prepare in the same way that large companies can.
The team we have in place now has a huge amount of experience and we know that we provide one of the best client services in the insurance sector.
“We understand this and have been keen to provide a service to our commercial clients that makes sure they are equipped for the worst of what is to come. Our own company became independent in the midst of the recession and as with many businesses, we fought hard to bounce back.
“So we want to bring that approach to our own client base and support them through whatever lies ahead and prepare them as much as possible.” Colin credits the success of much of this approach to the team he has behind him saying, “The team we have in place now has a huge amount of experience and we know that we provide one of the best client services in the insurance sector. Our unique appeal is that we have the resource of a large insurance broker, with more than 40 staff, but can offer a personal approach to clients. “We decided to use this experience and resource to help build and grow our commercial insurance offering and this
approach has undoubtedly helped us sustain growth by 20% year on year for the past few years. “That is down to pure professionalism and drive from our team, who are wholly committed to our clients and provide them with a service they won’t get anywhere else. None of our business customers will get that ‘call-centre’ experience that can waste a lot of time and energy. We want to take the pain out of that process by providing a rounded service that means our clients get what they need directly from us. Colin also attributes the broker’s growth to the relationships Find Insurance has forged with insurance providers, giving the local company exclusive access to market leading insurance products but at extremely competitive rates. This, in turn, has resulted in exceptional customer retention and new business sales. Colin continues, “The drive and focus on our commercial offering has resulted in us working with many of the Top 100 independent business in Northern Ireland. That is something I am hugely proud of because it is down to hard work and great client service. “There are a stream of sectors we want to get into. At the moment we have clients in construction, manufacturing, engineering, motor trade, hospitality and retail. But there are other sectors out there that we haven’t touched yet. In the North West for example, we have
Colin Mullan, Managing Director, and Karen McQuillan, Financial Director.
seen huge growth in the IT and software industry with global names creating hundreds of jobs here in the city and that is another area we are focusing on. Colin says that positivity and drive is a trademark of most business owners he knows and has worked with. “The fact is that in spite of our political and economic landscape, business owners are pragmatic and just want to get on with things. We are here to create jobs and prosperity in our
region. That is what matters to everyone at the end of the day.”
For more information please visit www.findinsuranceni.co.uk or call 028 7131 1171.
Trust is key for Dawn McLaughlin & Co A good accountant can provide advice and a safety net to many business owners. But a great accountant is a trusted business adviser ensuring your business is run efficiently, complying with legal requirements and providing forward looking advice. Dawn McLaughlin & Co has been named among the Top 40 UK accountancy practices by AVN which makes Dawn one of the brightest minds in accountancy in the UK. Dawn has a reputation for being a progressive business leader and she has been leading a digital revolution in accountancy for her clients over the past ten years. Working in one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms for more than 18 years and leading her own practice for a further 14 years, Dawn has accumulated extraordinary experience working with entrepreneurs at all levels and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Dawn explains, “Having worked in accountancy and business services for more than 30 years, I have a wealth of experience and am keen to share it and make a contribution to the economy in the North West”.
As well as sharing this with her clients she also does this on a voluntary basis through her numerous board appointments including being a Trustee of a local school and a Board Member of the Chamber. “I understand that for many business owners, the accounting side of the business can be overwhelming. That goes for everyone, from those embarking upon a new business start-up, to those who have been running a business for many years”. “Not only do we take the stress out of this for business owners, but we also provide tailored advice to help them grow and succeed. A holistic approach is taken with our clients and with our understanding of their business and their requirements we tailor the service offering”. “The business development service is particularly effective because we have forensic knowledge of a person’s business and therefore understand what they need to do to take it to the next level”. Since its establishment, Dawn’s practice has grown steadily, now employing six people and with ambition for further growth over the
next few years. As a leading digitally enabled practice in the North West, in addition to the traditional accountancy services, Dawn’s practice offers cloud accounting, including systems review, implementation and training. She also offers full back office services from processing of invoices to full financial statements. Dawn adds, “businesses must be digitally enabled to compete and be efficient in the modern world. We have been helping our clients with this change transformation over a number of years”. And finally, accountants are sometimes labelled as boring but not Dawn. If you like your accountant to be able to kick back and relax, Dawn is more than willing to rev up her Harley! “It’s not what people would expect of an accountant I guess, but it certainly helps me put the working day behind me and it also gives me a sense of freedom which is needed after a long day at the office! It’s important to get the work life balance correct”. If you would like to speak to Dawn and find out more information, please call 028 7137 0886.
message can very often get lost.
HR TEAM LAUNCHES NEW HEALTH & SAFETY SERVICE HR Team has launched a new health and safety consultancy and training service for employers. The expansion of HR Team’s service offering has been fuelled by a strong demand for Health and Safety services from the firm’s client base across the island of Ireland and in GB. Although workplace accidents are reducing, the rate of businesses falling foul of health and safety legislation in Ireland and the UK is increasing. HR Team’s Safe Team will ensure that clients minimise risk from the law by remaining compliant at all times. HR Team Director Breda Cullen explains: “Our customers
HR Team Director Breda Cullen
Safe Team from HR Team supports small to medium sized business in the management of health and safety across the island of Ireland and in GB.
requested this service because they trust our dedication to excellence in compliance. And we have listened – delivering a dedicated team to provide full-service health and safety consultancy and training. “Our dedication to excellence in compliance now extends into this very important service area to further minimise risk for our clients from ever-evolving legislation. “Our new Safe Team is made up of health and safety specialists from a range of sectors. The wide-ranging skillsets of the team members means our clients’ can be
assured of being assigned the right person with the right knowledge for their industry.” Safe Team from HR Team supports small to medium sized business in the management of health and safety across the island of Ireland and in GB. The process begins with a full risk assessment and review of your approach to your health and safety obligations. The professional audit will outline clearly any actions required to ensure the continued protection of your organisation, your people and others whose health and safety you are responsible, by law, for safeguarding.
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The Festive Period – Headaches and Hangovers for Employers With the Christmas period now in full swing, Employment Lawyer and Managing Director of McCay Solicitors, Gareth McCay, looks at some of the issues that may affect businesses during the festive period. Annual Leave Holiday requests during the festive period can leave a business short staffed. However, declining holiday requests can lead to an employer being labelled a scrooge. Treating employees fairly and consistently can minimise the risk of claims of unfairness. The first point of reference should be the contract of employment or staff handbook however in absence of any agreement to the contrary, Regulation 15 of the Working Time Regulations (NI) 1998 (WTR) provides that a worker must give notice equal to twice the length of the holiday that he or she wishes to take. Regulation 15 also provides that employers are entitled to refuse annual leave requests, provided that they give the worker notice equivalent to the period of leave requested and the opportunity to take the leave at a later date. However, this may be difficult if the holiday year runs from January to December and annual leave cannot be carried over. Annual Leave Policies lay out rules to follow and minimise the potential for dispute as the employer will always have something formal and in writing to fall back on. Giving priority to employees with families may seem reasonable but such prioritisation has the potential to give rise to accusations of discrimination on the grounds of sex, age or sexual orientation. Similarly, giving preferential treatment to Christian employees could expose an employer
to allegations of discrimination from members of other faiths. In turning down a holiday request, an employer must have regard to the duty of mutual trust and confidence between employer and employee therefore requests should be Gareth McCay, Managing Director of McCay Solicitors. turned down in good faith and on reasonable grounds, not simply on an arbitrary basis. may also have to consider whether it has contributed to any misconduct. The Hangover from the
The Christmas party is a time for people to let their hair down and for employers to reward their staff for their hard work. Although most employees are well behaved, over-indulgence does have the potential to turn an otherwise model employee into a problem one as it is all too easy to forget the boundaries between work and play. Social events outside work, organised by the employer, will usually be viewed by Tribunals as being an extension of work therefore the usual rules on misconduct will apply and an employee can be held to account. Employers also need to be careful as disciplining an offending employee for unacceptable conduct during the Christmas party may lead to issues of fairness being raised. Employers must be careful not to single out a particular employee for disciplinary action, when in fact that employee’s conduct was no better or worse than others. Where an employer has provided a free bar it
Forewarning staff that inappropriate behaviour may result in disciplinary action and reminding them of company policies concerning disciplinary rules, discrimination, bullying and harassment will make it easier to discipline employees who ‘cross the line’ and protect the business in the event of any claim. If there isn’t time to implement a specific policy before the Christmas party, send an e-mail or pin a poster on the staff notice board reminding employees that they are expected to comply with the accepted standards of conduct in the workplace. Employers need to dispel the traditional idea that anything goes at the Christmas party and all will be forgotten the next day. So don’t cancel the party, just make sure that the boundaries are set out and nobody crosses them. If your business struggles with these types of issues, check out our Employer Protect Product!
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Making sure your company is business compliant Courtney Kelly Consulting Making sure your business complies with regulations concerning data protection, employment, HR and health and safety may not be the most glamorous side of the job as a business owner, but it is crucial in ensuring the smooth running of your business, enhancing your reputation and helping to ensure long term sustainability, explains compliance expert Sinéad Kelly. Courtney Kelly Consulting, led by former practising solicitor Sinéad, works with small businesses, public sector organisations and charities to find strategic compliance and HR solutions. “Complying with regulations is now an essential aspect for modern businesses, big or small. We find that businesses can often feel overwhelmed with the complexity and the ever-growing number of regulations with which they are bound to comply”, said Sinéad. “We help guide our clients through a complicated and intricate web of regulations and laws relevant to their particular business function.” “We provide strategic advice and guidance to clients across a full range of industries including dentists, pharmacists, opticians, schools, financial services providers, estate agents, hospitality businesses, wholesalers, local government, and third sector organisations. These are all highly regulated fields which require specific and bespoke solutions and our goal is to tailor a project plan unique to each business.” As Sinéad explains, the penalties for noncompliance can be costly, both financially and professionally. “The risk of non-compliance is too great to ignore, and it pays off to have secure, reliable policies and operating procedures in place. After 12 years as a practising solicitor, I decided to digress into consultancy with the professional background and knowledge of employment law, business compliance and data protection. I also had the practical experience of being a non-clinical director of a dental practice and other governance experiences gained in the education and not-for-profit sectors”.
Sinéad Kelly LLB CIPD, Principal Consultant, Courtney Kelly Consulting
Courtney Kelly Consulting, which is an approved adviser on Intertrade Ireland’s Brexit Advisory Service Panel, also offers full support and training to organisations for GDPR and data protection obligations. Since May 2018, the new GDPR legislation means Europe now has the strongest data protection rules in the world. As Sinéad explains, the new regulations can be confusing and complex for many businesses, but you must make sure you have the correct processes and procedures in place. “Data protection is now a major factor for all businesses. There’s no excuse any more for not complying fully with the new GDPR legislation and we at Courtney Kelly Consulting can assist by giving you the confidence that you are addressing your obligations and proactively working towards proper compliance.”
As Sinéad says, taking simple steps to become fully compliant with regulations which affect your business is a smart decision which will ultimately stand you in good stead. “With our bespoke strategies which are unique to you, your staff and your business, we can prepare and implement the structures and operating procedures required to ensure you are addressing your obligations in an easy and proactive way. By doing this, you can reduce the worries which exist around compliance, help reduce costs, and build your business in a safe, sustainable manner.” For more information on how Courtney Kelly Consulting can help ensure your business is regulatorily compliant and for a noobligation consultation, please visit www. courtneykellyconsulting. com or contact sinead@ courtneykellyconsulting.com
ATTENTION FLEET MANAGERS Are you having trouble getting your drivers to complete and return their walkaround checks? The brand new TerraMar Freestyle App allows you to forget about managing another messy paper-trail. Now your drivers can record the checks you want them to on their phone, easily and quickly. The App will synchronise immediately to the tracpoint online software, allowing you to : • • • •
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CRASH Services opens Derry/ Londonderry Branch CRASH Services, Northern Ireland’s leading accident management company, has opened the doors to its new branch on the Culmore Road in Derry/ Londonderry as part of expansion plans that have created five new jobs in the city.
Brian McGrath, President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce & Jonathan McKeown, CEO of CRASH Services.
Jonathan McKeown, Chief Executive Officer at CRASH, commented “We announced earlier this year our intention to set up in the North West. We are delighted to have secured premises in such a prime location, close to the city centre. “Our service is very appealing to anyone unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident. We aim to get our customers back on the road quickly and with the least inconvenience possible. There is no fee for our accident management service as all costs are recovered from the insurers involved. Customers can be assured that we will inform them of all their entitlements, so they are at no financial loss as a result of their accident. “We have several existing long-term relationships with vehicle repairers, motor dealers and insurance brokers in the area and we hope to establish new partnerships with other local businesses over the coming months.” CRASH Services offers a complete one-stop service for motorists involved in road traffic accidents. This includes; vehicle recovery, collision investigation, arranging repairs, supplying replacement vehicles, claims management, access to legal and medical assistance. CRASH Services can assist any motorist, regardless of what type of vehicle they drive, including for example taxi and van drivers, and no matter who they are insured with.
Jonathan McKeown, Tony McKeown, Michael McKeown, Paul Cooney CRASH Services.
Established in 1996, CRASH Services has experienced significant growth in business over the last two years, with cases handled increasing by nearly 20%. Overall staff numbers have now grown to 88 across its locations in Belfast, Newry and now the new Derry/ Londonderry
Branch. Its fleet of replacement vehicles has now grown to over 200. For more information please visit crashservices.com or call 028 7136 0281
The next best thing to an in-house insurance team When was the last time you really looked at your business insurance cover? Lockton are a world-leading, privately owned local commercial insurance broker. Our knowledgeable, locally-based experts spend time getting to know you so they can make informed recommendations to help minimise risks aligned to your business. We know every business is different, thatâ€™s why Lockton is the next best thing to an in-house insurance team.
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Consult HR Expert, Reliable HR Consult HR was created by Julie Pollock over 12 years ago to provide expert Employment Law and HR support to businesses of all levels and in all sectors. The business has developed a strong reputation for being professional, approachable and delivering a service, which exceeds clients’ expectations. Undeniably, many business owners and managers find HR and employment law a ‘mine-field’, which isn’t surprising, considering the current challenges of managing multigeneration workforces, employees being more aware of their rights, a workforce that is willing to challenge their employer and employees with a sense of entitlement. Due to the complexity of employment legislation and potential legal costs of getting it wrong, this leaves many cautious in their approach. Being able to access professional advice which gives instant solutions to your staffing issues, reduces stress and prevents you from making a costly mistake, as well as freeing employers’ and managers’ time to focus on other areas of the business are just some of the benefits . Ciaran O’Neill, Managing Director of Bishop’s Gate Hotel said: “As a small business we have been working with Julie from Consult HR from the beginning of our journey and this partnership has been invaluable in creating the success we have achieved for our business. Consult HR offers a tailored service to our company and keeps us updated on employment law and the constant changes that we as employers face in the workplace and more importantly, are there to support you when needed with difficult situations that arise with clear direction.” The ethos of Consult HR is to offer cost effective, personalised advice.
Julie Pollock, Owner, Consult HR
The company strives to establish lasting partnerships with its clients and is very flexible in the level of support offered. This means that businesses can choose a flexible HR support plan, which suits their exact needs. By understanding each individual client’s business, Consult HR is able to provide options and solutions, which not only meet the legal obligations, but also the wider needs of the business. Service options include; Pay As You Go, Fixed Monthly Fee, Project Work and Scheduled On-Site HR Management Support. Since setting up Consult HR, Julie’s expertise lies within the high risk end of people management and she has specialised in providing expert HR advice to SMEs in areas such as: redundancy, investigations, dismissals, bullying and harassment, grievances, contracts of employment, TUPE,
Performance Management including KPI setting and much more. Julie thrives on providing limited risk solutions to clients’ problems and assisting them through that process to achieving their goal. She supports businesses with practical hands-on advice, whether it is everyday issues or more complex employment matters. Paddy McEldowney, CEO at Easilift Community Transport said: “Julie’s wide range of experience is invaluable to us. The main benefits we find is; it is cost effective, we receive a prompt, thorough response to queries, it is locally based and we are able to meet face-to-face as required.” For more information on how Consult HR can assist your business, visit: www.consulthr.co.uk or call: 078 5808 9006.
CLAIRE HUGHES DENTAL
Claire Hughes appointed Irish trainer for Botulinum Toxin Club Local dentist and facial aesthetics expert Claire Hughes has been appointed as a trainer for the Botulinum Toxin Club, and is the only appointed Irish trainer working on the island of Ireland. Claire is now responsible for training medical professionals including doctors, dentists and nurses in facial aesthetics and says there is a growing need for professionally trained practitioners due to a huge growth of demand in this area. Claire says, “Facial aesthetics has grown rapidly in the past few years and we are seeing huge demand in Derry and elsewhere, for noninvasive procedures like fillers and botox. This has become a bit of a phenomenon because it is so easy to get now on most high streets. What concerns me however is the number of practitioners out there who are not properly trained in this highly specialised practice, who do not update their skills and knowledge on a regular basis, or use the best products. “It was for that reason I decided to become the Irish appointee of the facial aesthetics training group, the Botulinum Toxin Club. This organisation ensures that those working in facial aesthetics are properly trained on the latest developments and products. “It is worrying that so many people do not fully research the person they are going to use to put fillers in their face or inject them with botox. That is a huge risk to take and something I feel really passionate about improving upon. I now offer regular training courses in the city for those looking to perfect their skills in this area.” Claire was appointed by the organisation because of her dedication to the practice area and her continued commitment to regular training. As well as being a qualified dentist, Claire is also registered with the RQIA which means her practice is quality checked on a regular basis, something that is hugely reassuring to her clients. Claire explains that her chosen career has given her much job satisfaction. “I have always been passionate about my profession and
Left - Dr Claire Hughes, Founder and Principal, Claire Hughes Dental Above - Claire Hughes Dental also offers facial aesthetic treatments.
what I love about dentistry is that it can transform people’s lives. I never get tired of seeing how people react when we can fix their smile. I suppose it’s for that reason that moving into facial aesthetics was a natural move. If we can make just one person feel better about themselves or feel more confident, then that is a job well done. The added bonus for our facial aesthetics clients is that they can come to us safe in the knowledge
that we are always updating our skills and techniques and are a leading practitioner in Ireland in this area.” Claire Hughes Dental specialises in dentistry, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry and more recently, facial aesthetics. If you would like to find out more, please call 028 7131 1333.
1st Anniversary for Award Winning Caterina’s Bistro at Da Vinci’s Hotel
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Peter Cochrane Restaurant Manager, Kevin McCole Executive Chef, Olga Henry General Manager
In October 2018 The Garvan O’Doherty Group invested £500,000 transforming the former Nightclub into a stunning Bistro, Caterina’s. Since opening its doors, Caterina’s has flourished and attracted rave reviews from both locals and international visitors alike. With over 20 years in the hospitality industry Executive Chef, Kevin McCole, is renowned for providing the highest standard of food. With a key focus on locally sourced produce, he has designed a carefully crafted menu of exceptional dishes to tempt all types of customers. The restaurant service team is led by Peter Cochrane who is dedicated to ensuring the highest standard of service and attention to detail in every guests’ experience.
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The team are now an award-winning combination and have received their first set of awards with Open Table UK awarding it 2019 Diners’ Choice Award for Best Overall Experience, Best Ambiance, Special Occasions & Sunday Lunch in Northern Ireland. Commenting on the achievement, General Manager Olga Henry said “We are delighted to have achieved our first award for Caterina’s Bistro. We know we have an exceptional restaurant and are thrilled to be voted by the Open Table Diners who have experienced this first-hand. “Since opening we have firmly placed ourselves as the goto place for all occasions from a casual brunch, business lunch meeting to a special meal with family and friends. The future is exciting with the launch of Afternoon Tea where we believe we will be serving the best afternoon tea in the city and are gearing up to what already promises to be a fully booked Christmas season.”
EHA Group receives top Housing award EHA Group was recognised for Construction Excellence at the Construction Employers Federation awards, in October 2019. The construction company was presented with the ‘Private Housing’ Award for the construction of Huntingdon Hill, the now leading private housing development in Northern Ireland. The scheme demonstrated quality and sustainability of the overall layout, in the detailed design of the buildings and the spaces surrounding. It also demonstrates a distinctive overall sense of place that takes into account the characteristics of the site and its setting. Furthermore, a feeling of security and a sense of vitality has been created for the residents. A total of 46 new luxury homes were built in the scheme, conveniently located just 15 minutes between both Lisburn and Belfast, backing onto the wider countryside. The collection of classically designed homes at Huntingdon Hill bring practical living, designed around clients’ needs. Each of the homes are characterised by spacious, modern interiors with high quality finishes internally and externally, benefiting from a private garden and parking space. Home owners benefitted from numerous options to personalise their new home with turn-key choices, including detailed kitchen specifications. These were manufactured by EHA Specialist Joinery at
their state-of-the-art workshop in Eglinton.
Property Sales (UPS).
Commenting on the partnership, Conor Beirne, Partner, Ulster Property Sales: “EHA Group demonstrated innovation, flexibility and expertise during the entire build programme, EHA Group demonstrated providing effective innovation, flexibility and problem solving to expertise during the entire deliver increased build programme, providing effective value for each problem solving to deliver increased of the 46 new home owners at value for each of the 46 new home Huntingdon Hill.” owners at Huntingdon Hill.
These stylish two storey homes were designed by Belfast based CALICO architects, who provided all architectural services, and were sold in partnership with Ulster
The Construction Employers Federation (CEF) is the certified representative body for the construction industry in Northern Ireland. The awards provide an opportunity to showcase the best of the construction industry in Northern Ireland and to celebrate the industry’s achievements. The aim of the competition is to promote excellence and to give recognition to those companies who are achieving the highest standards of construction. Find out more about EHA’s work at: www.ehagroup.co.uk
THE JAMES SUITES
The James Suites New luxury & spacious serviced apartments in the heart of the City The James Suites located on Gt James St, recently opened during the Halloween festival week, have been finished to the highest standard with an inviting and contemporary look that includes a bright modern interior, colourful local art pieces, robust mellowed oak furniture with matching accessories and full length mirrors.
centres, The Peace Bridge and ‘Free Derry Corner’.
To ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible each suite is fitted with a keypad entry system, king size bed & sofa bed, 50” smart TV, free WI FI and a spacious living and kitchen area that includes a fridge and microwave oven.
Whether you are visiting this historic city for a weekend break, a longer vacation, business, or just a get together with friends and family, you can be sure of a warm welcome and affordable, comfortable stay at The James Suites.
Centrally located, the large, newly formed upper floor windows offer views of the City Walls and a two minute walk will take you to Foyleside & Richmond shopping
The James Suites, 8-10 Great James St, L/Derry BT487DA www. The James Suites.co.uk. Tel 07815817445.
Easy access to the city’s bustling nightlife is assured with a cinema complex, city centre bars, restaurants and clubs all accessible on foot. The Tower Museum and the Guildhall are also located only a stone’s throw away.
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DOWN MEMORY LANE
Down Memory Lane with Dermot Morrow What age are you? I am 72 years old
Where in the city are you from? I’m from Coshquin
Explain what your business does Tomorrows Menswear and Bridal is a leading menswear and wedding attire store situated on The Diamond in the city centre.
What is your title and how long have you been in post? I am the Principal Director of Morrow Enterprises LTD, a post I have held since 2003.
Tell me how your business began Although we can trace our trading routes back to 1878, the current version of the business began trading in 2006, although I have been involved with the premises since 1967. My father began working at Austin’s Department Store in 1930. George Austin employed him to manage McKinlay’s, a mini department store which was also located in The Diamond, and by 1940 he and my father had formed a limited company, McKinlay & Co (Derry) LTD, with 4000 £1 fully paid shares each. This business traded as a mini department store in rented premises which the company now own. It then became the Morrow family business.
What was the city like outside your window back then? How has it changed over the years? Thankfully the city is much safer these days. Back in 1967 the Troubles were only a few years away and our premises were bombed in 1972. We had to partially rebuild it and bomb scares were always a concern. Trading conditions were certainly more difficult back then, but we definitely learned from the experiences and I feel that we can handle any adverse trading conditions thrown at us now.
Has the ethos of the business changed over the years? Our ethos of providing high-quality clothing and service to our customers has remained the same but our business has changed over the years. It has evolved from a mini
department store into a more specialised wedding attire business. Customer service has always been important for us and remains even more so today for any local independent business to survive. We try to learn and take the lead from our customers and their needs. We have now evolved into a multi-channel retailer. We relish change, it’s what makes retailing fun!
What’s the best bit of business or life advice you have been given over the years? Give your customers true value for money, pay your suppliers as quickly as possible, and the economy is fickle and very cyclical so hang in there.
Has the way you do business in the city changed much over the years? Up until and throughout the 1960s and early 1970s we retailed as ‘credit drapers’,
now we are a cash business. It’s a much less divided city now than it was 30 or 40 years ago. Our Donegal customers found it difficult, uncomfortable and time consuming passing through security checkpoints during the Troubles and, as a result, often stayed away. I am so pleased that they have now returned as they make up around a third of my business and I am optimistic that they will continue to shop with us. And changes in technology mean that computers and electronic points of sale have eliminated the need for long tots at the end of each day!
What can business learn from the past to build a strong future? Well bought is half sold as they say, and always listen to the customer.
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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. www.eurescrossborder.eu
This publication has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation â€œEaSIâ€? (2014 - 2020). For further information please consult: http://ec.europa.eu/social/easi
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North-West Transport Hub Confirms Translink Commitment to the North-West
New enhanced passenger facilities and platforms have now opened at the North-West Transport Hub, located at the former Waterside Train Station in Derry~Londonderry, with NI Railways services now operating to and from the new facility. Representing an investment of £27m, funding for this major project has been secured from the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) with support from the Department for Infrastructure and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in the Republic of Ireland, as well as Derry City and Strabane District Council. The Waterside Train Station served as one of the city’s main railway facilities for over a century, closing in 1980. The building has been restored and repurposed for use as a 21st Century transport facility, and will act as a gateway to the city and the wider North-West region, as well as promoting active and sustainable travel, bringing together a wide range of transport modes and providing enhanced customer and staff facilities. The next phase of works, including the park and ride site, enhanced public realm and bus turning circle, will complete during the summer of 2020. An operational opening in mid-October, following a 12-day line closure between Derry~Londonderry and Coleraine allowed the facility to form a key part of Translink’s plans for Hallowe’en in the city, when Translink co-operated with Derry City and Strabane District Council’s exciting programme of seasonal activity. The North-West Transport Hub will allow for improved co-ordination between rail and local and cross-border bus services, as well as a Greenway link to the city centre and Foyle Street Bus Centre via the Peace Bridge. Working with a wide range of stakeholders, it will also help encourage more people to consider active and environmentally-friendly travel options in line with draft Programme for Government objectives.
Michael Spillane, Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport; Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive; Gina McIntyre, SEUPB, Councillor Michaela Boyle, Mayor of Derry and Strabane; and John McGrath, DfI, pictured at the operational opening of the North-West Transport Hub.
The Hub also offers a unique and vibrant space within the building, an area where communities and organisations can tell their stories, a venue for events
Trains pictured at the North-West Transport Hub.
UP THE TOWN NELSON DRIVE
E E OO
OO 0 0 0 0 OO O
LONE MOOR ROAD
Whatâ€™s the craic?
Taken together, these significant investments demonstrate Translinkâ€™s commitment to the NorthWest, linking the city and the wider region ever closer to other urban centres and making travel to and from the city easier than ever before.Â The Hub is a major step forward on Translinkâ€™s journey to make public transport â€˜first choice for
FOYLE PRIDE Up the Foyle in a bubble
Derry Craft Village
â€˜â€˜I would like to thank our funders for their support and essential funding needed to deliver this project, and to acknowledge the work of the Translink project team and construction partners Farrans/Rhomberg Sersa JV and Babcock for their work to bring the vision to reality.Â I would also like to thank the community and commuters of the North-West for their support and patience as we work to deliver on our commitment to them.â€™â€™
A shot of a Foyle Metro vehicle passing the Guildhall.
Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said: â€˜â€˜This important project has taken a key piece of the NorthWestâ€™s architectural heritage and restored it to a modern transport facility, an appropriate gateway to the vibrant city of Derry~Londonderry and the wider North-West region, and I am very proud that the project has reached this milestone.
The Hub sits proudly alongside other Translink investments in the city and surrounding area in recent years, totalling over ÂŁ70m â€“ this includes the introduction of a new Goldline fleet and upgrades to the North-West railway corridor, as well as the enhancement of Foyle Metro, helping to bring people in Derry~Londonderry closer together.Â A major new radio and digital advertising campaign has been launched in the city to promote Foyle Metro services, as well as the great value fares associated with it, such as mLink and Smartlink fares.Â A new YouTube video celebrating Foyle Metro can also be viewed at: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=aP08gYWojnk
and classes in a building that will be a major part of Derry~Londonderryâ€™s fabric.Â Look out for a wide range of activity in this space throughout the next few months.Â
E M ETRO
travelâ€™ for everyone, helping to encourage greener, more active travel.
More details on the Hub can be found at www. translink.co.uk/nwhub
business advice EURES Transnational in Northern Ireland are part of the Department for Communities and they offer an individually tailored European recruitment service for employers who are struggling to fill their vacancies locally. This provides employers with the opportunity to find the most suitable employees from a wider pool of candidates throughout Europe.
Co-ordinator of Eures Cross Border Partnership Ireland HOW CAN EMPLOYERS HERE AVAIL OF EURES SERVICES? While we still remain in the European Union, employers in the North West region can avail of the EURES Services. EURES has two arms – (a) to help employers and jobseekers across the EU to match vacancies with the right people (Transnational EURES) and (b) To help employers and jobseekers in the border region to match vacancies and provide support (EURES Cross Border).
The EURES network has over 900 Advisers in 32 countries and their Job Mobility Portal www.eures.europa.eu enables employers to view CV’s of potential candidates which could match your company’s recruitment needs. EURES NI can guide you through this free recruitment process. The EURES Cross Border team includes Carol Kelly from the Chamber and we can give advice, support and guidance on recruiting from across the border – check out our website www.eurescrossborder. eu for all the information you need. Log on to www.eurescrossborder.eu
Manager, KPMG Legal Services HOW CAN YOU PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS FOR IMMIGRATION LAW CHANGES? As a result of Brexit, immigration law in the UK will fundamentally change. What can employers do now to prepare their businesses? • Conduct an immigration audit to identify any impacted EU national employees • Ascertain whether employees live in Northern Ireland or the Republic of
Account Executive, Lockton ARE YOU MAKING A WISE BUSINESS INSURANCE PURCHASE? When considering which business insurance policy to buy, always keep in mind WISE:
Managing Partner and Head of Business Law, Caldwell & Robinson HOW CAN HOSPITALITY GIFTS MAKE YOUR BUSINESS FALL FOUL OF THE 2010 BRIBERY ACT?
Ireland and if they also hold a British or Irish passport The answer to the above can inform your business of any potential immigration applications they will need to make by 31 December 2020 (if there is “No Deal”) or 30 June 2021 (if there is a “Deal”). In terms of what employers can do to prepare for the future, ask yourself the following: • Do you need a UK Sponsor Licence? • Do you need further advice or information on the post Brexit immigration system which is due to come into effect on 1 January 2021? For further information visit: https:// home.kpmg/ie/en/home/services/ tax/legal-services/employmentimmigration/immigration-advicenorthern-ireland.html
You will almost certainly see client entertainment as an essential aspect of your marketing suite. However, you should know that you will have committed a crime under the Bribery Act if your hospitality is extravagant and is intended to induce conduct in the person you are entertaining that they will not act in good faith, impartially or in accordance with a position of trust. Similarly, if the Court determines that you intend that your excessive hospitality will influence a public official in his official role to secure business or a business advantage for you, you equally will have committed a crime. But when is hospitality excessive? Gifts and hospitality need to be proportionate and clearly designed to build business relationships rather than influence decisions. Entertaining at the Aviva or even the Grand Prix won’t land anyone in jail, unless of course it’s the tip of a much bigger iceberg. For more information, please visit www.caldwellrobinson.com or contact 02871 261 334.
Warranties Are you complying with your policy warranties? Are your electrical inspections up to date? Are your health and safety policies up to date? Insurer Strength Is your cover placed with an insurance company with a secure financial rating? Sums insured When was the last time you examined your buildings & contents sums insured? Things like new extensions and better internal fit outs all increase your liabilities. If you do not insure the full value at risk then you will not be entitled to full settlement in the event of a loss. Exposure Have you calculated both your Business Interruption sum insured and your maximum period to recovery to the preloss position? This is one of the single biggest areas of disagreement following an insured event. Do you employ Republic of Ireland Nationals? Are you exporting to the USA? Does your current policy provide the full suite of covers to protect you? At Lockton our in-house Insurance, Claims and Risk management team will provide you with a bespoke insurance review as well as accurate and timely advice to best protect you and your business. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ulster University celebrates outstanding academic impact with three National Teaching Fellowships Three of Ulster University’s teaching staff have been recognised in Advance HE’s National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) Scheme this year. Dr Liz Doherty from the School of Arts and Humanities, Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Provost of Ulster University’s Magee campus, and Professor Colin Turner, School of Engineering, join a distinguished group of academics across the UK recognised for their outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education. Institutions can nominate up to three individuals each year and for the first time, all three of Ulster University’s nominees have been successful – one of just three UK universities this year to celebrate three newly appointed Fellows. Liz, Malachy and Colin are three of 55 fellowships awarded this year and they will join other Fellows in playing an ongoing role in enhancing teaching and learning within Ulster University, the HE sector and further afield. Ulster University now has 12 National Teaching Fellows. Welcoming the Fellowships, ViceChancellor Professor Paddy Nixon said, “To have three of our leading academics recognised in this way is deserving recognition of the talent of our academic community and the importance we must continue to place on teaching and the
student learning experience. As one of only three UK universities to receive the maximum of three Fellowships awarded, this is an outstanding performance from Ulster academics on the national stage. “It is rewarding to reflect on the very many young people, external partners and communities that have been inspired, supported and encouraged by Liz, Malachy and Colin and by teaching staff right across our University.” Dr Liz Doherty is an internationally renowned performer with extensive experience in guiding national policy in traditional music. Since her appointment in 2007, Liz has used her sectoral leadership to spearhead the teaching of traditional music at Ulster. She has led the development of a community of learning in traditional music, extending the student learning experience beyond the classroom. Dr Malachy Ó Néill is an eminent academic in the field of Irish language and literature and Provost of the Magee campus. He is highly respected across the University for his tireless contribution to building academic communities across disciplines and faculties and his passion for the understanding of language in general and Irish in particular. His activities span education sectors, from primary school through to higher education, with a consistent focus on civic engagement, academic research and international advocacy.
Ulster University celebrates outstanding academic impact with three National Teaching Fellowships for Dr Liz Doherty from the School of Arts and Humanities, Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Provost of Ulster University’s Magee campus, and Professor Colin Turner, School of Engineering.
Professor Colin Turner is a truly student-centred educator. His vision for an Engineering Society, his confidence in his students whilst Head of School and his mentoring of the Ulster Society of Student Engineers brought to life a true staffstudent partnership. Colin was appointed President of the Engineering Professor’s Council (EPC) in May this year, through which he will champion the
role of engineering in HE as it addresses the challenges and opportunities facing the profession and enhance the Council’s services to all academic engineering staff. Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Paul Bartholomew added: “These latest Fellowships are richly deserved and are testament to the commitment and energy that Liz, Malachy and Colin bring to their roles, both within and outside the University. Our latest National Teaching Fellows are representative of a committed body of teaching colleagues who continue to deliver academic excellence in spite of the challenges presented by a constrained operating environment for HE locally. “This personal and institutional success reflects the importance of fostering a staff culture that encourages new thinking, innovative practices, collaborative working, external networks, and with our students as partners at the heart of teaching and learning.”
About the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme showcases the outstanding impact of individuals who teach or support learning in UK higher education, recognising their success and providing a platform to share the learning from their practice. For more information on the awards please visit: https://www.advance-he. ac.uk/awards/teaching-excellenceawards/national-teaching-fellowship/ winners
About Ulster University Ulster University is a modern, forwardlooking institution with the enhancement of students’ experiences at the very heart of everything we do. Our high quality teaching, informed by world-leading research across key sectors, boosts the economy and has a positive impact on the lives of people around the world. For more information, please visit www.ulster.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter @ulsteruni
Allstate IT Lab opens at Ulster University Magee campus Dr. Dermott Kerr, Dr. Micheala Black, Corinna Thompson, 2nd Year Comp Science, John Healy, Allstate, Mairin Nicell and Ryan Callow, 2nd year student
Northern Ireland’s largest IT company Allstate has opened a new state of the art computing lab at Ulster University’s Magee campus, representing a major investment in educational resources for the North West region. The new lab is based within Ulster University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems at the Magee Campus and is a boost to the core teaching competencies in the areas of Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Information Technologies, Electronics and Embedded Systems, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Renewable Energy Engineering. The lab is an extension of the longstanding partnership between Allstate and Ulster University which recognises the importance of developing professional and educational links, whilst attracting next generation IT talent to Allstate, keeping the company at the forefront of a rapidly evolving technological landscape. The partnership is one of a number that links Ulster University and Allstate and will significantly enhance the student experience and offering at Magee.
John Healy, Vice President and Managing Director of Allstate Northern Ireland commented: “We are very proud to have partnered with Ulster University in the opening of the new IT lab. Allstate are committed to finding the best talent in Northern Ireland and the partnership between academia and business is vital in preparing the next generation of IT professionals. The North West is an integral part of the Allstate NI organisation and this collaboration will help boost the local economy. We’re thrilled to be able to improve student experiences at Ulster University by providing them with top quality resources and look forward to seeing how the IT industry continues to grow in the North West.” Professor Liam Maguire, Executive Dean at Ulster University welcomed the development: “The opening of the Allstate Lab at Ulster University cements a long-established relationship and demonstrates a strong commitment to providing professionally relevant education which will help our graduates to secure employment in the highly skilled Computing and Engineering sector.” “Our School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems has developed
strong industry links in both teaching and research and this lab will enable us to enhance our industrial input across courses and research which make a tangible difference to the Northern Ireland economy.” Integral to the work of the lab will be collaborations relating to cutting-edge academic research and application towards real-time corporate issues, with John Healy, Allstate Managing Director outlining some of the benefits the partnership will deliver: “The opening of our new lab in Ulster University’s Magee Campus reinforces a commitment to developing the next generation of the IT workforce in Northern Ireland. “From software development to data science we look forward to collaborating and nurturing talent in Ulster University through providing industry experience and preparing students for a rewarding professional career.”
Dawn Mclaughlin & Co
1. Margaret McFadden has joined the team at Dawn McLaughlin & Co Having served 20 years with HM Revenue and Customs and 20 years in Administration and Management within Financial Services, Margaret brings a wealth of experience and skills to the Practice in the area of payroll and administration. Not only does this benefit the Practice but clients can also tap into Margaret’s varied expertise to benefit their business.
Invest Northern Ireland 2. Invest Northern Ireland has announced the appointment of Kevin Holland as Chief Executive to replace Alastair Hamilton who is stepping down from the role after ten years in the post. Announcing the appointment, Rose Mary Stalker, Chair of Invest NI said: “I am delighted that Invest NI has secured Kevin as its next Chief Executive. Kevin is an experienced global business leader with more than 25 years international expertise leading and advising business growth and investment in over 50 countries. “He was an outstanding candidate bringing a strong combination of international business experience and leadership skills. Kevin will ensure Invest NI continues to build on the strong progress which the organisation has made under Alastair’s leadership. “On behalf of the Board of Invest NI, both current and previous, I would like to acknowledge and thank Alastair for the dedication, commitment
and focus which he has provided to Invest NI and his wider contribution to advancing the Northern Ireland economy over the past ten years. “Together with my Board colleagues and the team at Invest NI we look forward to working with Kevin as he takes up his new role at a challenging time locally, nationally and internationally.” Kevin officially joined Invest NI on 21 October 2019 for a period of transition through November to ensure the highest level of continuity, after which he will take full responsibility as CEO.
Fintech 3. Andrew Jenkins has been appointed as Northern Ireland’s Fintech Envoy by the government. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the technology sector and is currently Director of mobility data and analytics at Arity, part of the Allstate Corporation. In this role, Andrew will be the lead ambassador for Northern Ireland’s Fintech sector.
Hastings Everglades Hotel 4. Kevin Myers was appointed Executive Sous Chef in August bringing a vast amount of experience and a wealth of culinary
knowledge to the Hastings Everglades Hotel. Having worked in Michelin Star, AA Rosette restaurants and Bridgestone Award winning establishments, his career has taken him throughout Europe and most recently a four times Irish Restaurant Association award winner. Kevin taught at the Northern Ireland Hotel & Catering College in Portrush passing on his skills and developing chefs of the future and is looking forward to the opportunities that come his way whilst working in the Everglades Hotel.
Liam takes great pride in his work and brings a wealth of experience to the Waterfoot Hotel. He has organized and delivered many varied events, including some high profile events and dinners including looking after the Dali Lama, the President of Ireland and the Taoiseach of Ireland. While he strives on delivering an exceptional customer experience to all guests his passion and background is in delivering an exceptional Wedding experience. His attention to detail ensures that every Wedding delivers a lifetime of happy memories.
Dawson Hinds Creative Spaces
5. Dawson Hinds Creative Spaces recently appointed Ciaron McKeag as a member of their Marketing and Administration team.
7. The Winebar Restaurant at the Waterfoot Hotel is helmed by Executive Head Chef Paul Mc Elhinney who is born and bred in Derry offering over 30 years experience at senior level.
Liam is delighted to return to the Waterfoot Hotel, where he previously ran the Conference & Events Department back in 2011. Liam and his team ensures each and every guest receives a consistent 4 Star offering level of service.
Paul is a former student of the Northern Ireland Catering College in Portrush and on return to the Maiden City his very successful career began in the Hospitality industry.
If you have any Events or Conference needs please contact Liam & the Waterfoot Hotel.
Ciaron has just recently graduated with a 2:1 in Business Management from Queenâ€™s University Belfast. Ciaron is bringing a range of experience into his role from his background in online and social media marketing and is excited to help Dawson Hinds continue to expand their business across Ireland and Europe.
Inbound Studios 6. Kieran Moore is the founder and CMO of Inbound Studios. He began his career as a freelancer and entrepreneurÂ helping local businesses develop an online presence. He was soon working with companies across the UK and Ireland. In 2017 he won the AIM SME Marketing Award for his client MyComplianceOffice before developing digital marketing for Kerry Foods. After this time Kieran joined a clean-tech start-up called OxyMem helping to expand their business through digital marketing lead generation into markets across North America, South America, Europe, China and the Middle East. Kieran has since developed Inbound Studios to offer creative marketing services from his office in Bishop Street and has become certified HubSpot Web Development Agency Partner.
Paul takes great pride in selecting and serving the best local produce and delivering exquisite food to suit every palate.
His passion was to return to the Waterfoot Hotel, where Paul previously opened the Wine Bar Restaurant back in 2010. He and his team will now provide a consistent 4 Star offering of fresh local produce to each and every guest. We invite you try our Wine Bar at the Waterfoot Hotel.
8. Liam Thewlis returns to the Waterfoot Hotel as our new Operations Manager. Liam is formerly from Roscommon and has been working in the Hospitality sector in the Maiden City for the past 12 years.
Welcome to The Chamber CONNECTED is highlighting some of the Chamberâ€™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?
Welcome to new member South Bank Square. Established in 2012, South Bank Square is a privately owned property development company based in Maghera. They specialise in residential and commerical developments.
Welcome to new member CRASH Services. Founded in 1996, Crash Services is now Northern Ireland’s largest accident management company. Visit crashservices.com for more information.
Welcome to new member MYM Recruitment. MYM is a market leading recruitment consultancy with offices in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal and Magherafelt in Co. Derry. The team draws on over 30 years of collective experience, with an established portfolio of clients in both the private and public sectors across the U.K. and Ireland. More info at: www.mymrecruitment.com
BOI Payment Acceptance is a leading payments business allowing merchants to seamlessly accept card payments in-store, online or on the move. Try our card terminal for 5 months and if you don’t see a 10% growth in sales you can hand the terminal back , no penalty. If we are not able to offer you better rates than your current card payments provider we will pay you £250.
Welcome to new member With Love Recipes Ltd. The company With Love Recipes founded by Sharron Mc Cormick, consists of the development, production and retail of delicious guilt free foods which facilitates a huge gap in the market for accommodation of the dietary mass market. Her Gluten Free, Sugar Free and High Protein cheesecakes, muffins and sauces are all consumable by; coeliac, diabetics, those struggling with obesity, weight management and those wanting to follow a high protein diet. Sharron has also published a cook book within the brand which consists of a wide variety of guilt free starters, mains, desserts and sides.
Welcome to new member Conway Consulting. Conway Consulting is a Facilitating, Designing and Delivering company providing high level Training and OD (Organisational Development) Interventions. They offer Leadership and Management Development Programmes, Bespoke Training Workshops/Facilitation of Team Development Days and Strategic Employee Engagement Projects.
Welcome to new member Kearney Law Group. Kearney Law Group is synonymous with specialist legal advice. The firm has a wealth of experience in the provision of legal services, specialising in the areas of Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence and Criminal Law.
Welcome to new member Ulster Orchestra. Ulster Orchestra was founded in 1966 and is Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra. The Orchestra’s mission is to enrich the lives of people living in and visiting Northern Ireland, through regular concert performances, Learning and Community Engagement programmes, and creative collaborations across the arts.
Welcome to new member Courtney Kelly Consulting. They provide bespoke solutions to SMEs that value and require compliance. They help you to assess, plan, prepare and implement the operating structures and processes that apply to your business function. Areas include: Industry specific Regulation, Employment Law, Data Protection (GDPR) and HR strategy. To find out more visit www.courtneykellyconsulting.com
Welcome to new member The House. The House (formerly Custom House), is the umbrella brand that homes Entrada, Seomra and soon The lounge. Three different dining facilities under one roof in the historic Custom House building.
Welcome to new member DCI. The Radius story began in 1990 when Bill Holmes set up a new fuel card company in the north of England called UK Fuels. After more than 20 years of growth and development across Europe, Bill then led a merger of more than 25 smaller businesses to establish a new major company capable of competing on a global basis. Today we have more than 22 offices in 14 countries and provide a market leading range of products and services to the small and medium fleet sectors. Many major oil companies choose to white label our fuel card and telematics products where we believe our investment in technology and software innovation give us a real edge in a very competitive environment. Technology and innovation are at the core of our approach to the market, we now have over 120,000 vehicles on our own telematics platform ensuring we are now one of the world’s fastest growing companies in this sector. A recent acquisition has introduced Radius to the telecommunications market, where there is huge potential to further develop our core product offering.There are lots of opportunities ahead of us as we continue to build Radius into a truly global business.
Welcome to new member Northstone (NI) Limited. Northstone NI is the parent company of both Northstone Materials and Farrans Construction. They offer a wide range of corporate services to its two divisions.
Welcome to new member KMPG. KPMG provides audit, tax and advisory services to a wide range of clients - from business start-ups and established family businesses to multinational organisations and public sector bodies.
For more info visit: www.northstone-ni.co.uk
To find out more visit - www.kpmg.ie
Welcome to new member NI Children’s Hospice. Northern Ireland Hospice provides specialist palliative care to over 4,000 infants, children and adults with life-limiting illnesses including care at home, short breaks and symptom management.
Welcome to new member Inbound Studios. Inbound Studios is a certified HubSpot inbound marketing agency partner, in the UK and Ireland, delivering lead generation through website development and creative marketing services. They provide 4k professional videography services for interviews, webinars and promotional videos, including custom animation. They also have photography services, including product and portrait. They can provide their services either inhouse, in our studio set up or at your location. Our clients include Kerry Foods, Universal Studios, OxyMem, Channel 4, BBC, PBS, SONY Music and Apple Music. Call for a free consultation on 07949653974
Welcome to new member Grace Wallace Miles Morgan Travel. A top travel consultant, I specialise in cruise holidays, tailored honeymoons, beach holidays and city breaks. Part of the award winning Miles Morgan Travel, I am based in Northern Ireland where I work from home and base my schedule around my customers’ needs and location. For further information telephone 07801150886.
CHAMBER MEMBER STORY
How does Chamber membership work for you and your business? For a firm which operates on an all-island basis and supplies to over half of Ireland’s hospitality businesses, Brexit threatens to disrupt Frylite’s supply chains, business relationships and trade links across the UK and Ireland. But, according to Founder and Managing Director Eamon McCay, the Derry Chamber has been a source of constant support and advice to the company ever since the 2016 European Union referendum. The Strabane-based cooking oil supplier and waste cooking oil collection service, which has operated for over 30 years, employs over 200 people across its premises on the island of Ireland and supplies to 60% of the island’s restaurants, bars, hotels and caterers. Eamon says the Chamber has been an excellent forum through which to express the company’s views, concerns and ideas about a range of issues, including the absence of Stormont, the City Deal package for the region, and addressing the skills gap. But, like most businesses in the North West, Brexit remains its chief concern. “Above all else, the Chamber has provided us with sound, strategic advice. Ever since June 2016, we’ve found the Chamber’s guidance invaluable in staying abreast of Brexit developments”, said Eamon. “It has been a massive help when it comes to cutting through the uncertainty and the confusion. As a business which has deep links with the EU single market and customs union, the support and guidance it has provided has been invaluable to us.”
Eamon says the Chamber has worked extremely hard to ensure the North West’s voice has been front and centre during the entire Brexit process. “In just the past few years alone, Chamber delegations and events have hosted Secretaries and Ministers of State for Northern Ireland, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. This type of access is priceless and allows businesses here to tell politicians directly how they feel about Brexit, how it will disrupt their business, and how they need protected.” Strong representation and standing up for business have been at the core of the Chamber’s Brexit efforts, according to Eamon. “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu, as they say. The Chamber’s lobbying efforts, roundtable discussions with powerful politicians, and constant high-level engagement have ensured the North West business community has had a seat at that table. Our concerns and anxieties have been articulated firmly and assertively and politicians here have been left under no illusions how businesses in the North West feel about Brexit and what needs done to ensure we are protected.” Beyond Brexit, Eamon says Frylite has benefited from seminars and training events on topics as varied as human resources, cyber security and personal well-being. “The regular networking and training events which Chamber facilitate have also been useful. Learning from industry experts on key aspects of management and business administration has allowed us to run our business more smoothly”, said Eamon. “Being able to connect and learn from other business leaders is always
Eamon McCay, Founder and Managing Director, Frylite
welcome and collaborating on issues of common concern to seek workable solutions can often be the best way to overcome challenges.” Eamon said he would encourage other local businesses, large and small, to join the Chamber to become part of the wider regional business community. “I’d urge anyone thinking about joining to do it. The support from the Chamber team is excellent and we feel more connected to other businesses and key stakeholders as a result.” For more information, please visit www.frylite.com.
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We offer members an opportunity to promote or run features in our Chamber publications, Annual Diary, Website, CONNECTED magazine, Bespoke E-zines and our Annual Wall Planner. We offer very competitive advertising rates to feature in any of our publications.
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DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE COMING SOON TO DS STORE EGLINTON! DS Automobiles opens orders for its 100% electric DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE – the first ever electric DS car – ahead of first deliveries starting in January. Based around an innovative multienergy platform, DS3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE provides the same sophistication and exceptional comfort as the other cars from DS Automobiles while adding all the qualities of E-TENSE, the 2019 Formula E championship-winning electric technology. DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE is a latest generation model with prices from £32,500* or £299/Month. E-TENSE models will be offered in similar trim levels as non-electric models and designed without comprising occupant or boot space. DS Automobiles becomes the first premium car manufacturer to offer both a Premium Compact SUV BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) with DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE and a Premium SUV petrol PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) with DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 4X4. Orders can now be placed for DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE – the 100% electric version of the latest Premium Compact SUV, ahead of formal ordering and deliveries due to start from January 2020. No other car in this sector offers an allelectric version.
For DS Automobiles, 2019 is all about E-TENSE E-TENSE is DS Automobiles’ global vision for energy transition. This new avant-garde strategy for electrification has led to the brand offering all its new models in versions that are either 100% electric or high- performance plugin hybrid, combined with a suite of dedicated services.
DS Automobiles in the UK is announcing specification and prices as it opens orders for the first of its E-TENSE (electrified) products on its second-generation DS range: DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE – a Premium Compact SUV is the first all-electric DS car and this BEV has a potential range of 200 miles (certified on the WLTP drive cycle). DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE has been designed without compromise – maximising the occupant and boot space while also offering similar trim level choices with an excellent driving capability. “DS Automobiles is where luxury and advanced technology come together. In 2019, we are launching E-TENSE and we have two models which represent world premieres in their respective segments. E-TENSE unites the demands of the energy transition and the pleasure of the car for independent mobility. We have chosen to completely electrify our range. From this year onwards, each of our models will be offered with an E-TENSE, BEV or PHEV, version, which uses energy in the most efficient way supplemented by regenerating energy during deceleration. DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE and DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 4X4 are the realisation of our electrification strategy with no compromise in space, while unparalleled in style and comfort” Yves Bonnefont, CEO of DS Automobiles. 100% Electric, Enhanced Driving Pleasure DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE is pioneering, as the first all-electric vehicle designed in full by the Groupe PSA. It naturally includes the same equipment and the same comfort and driving features as the ICE (Internal Combustion Engines – petrol & diesel) versions. With a 50kWh battery and an electric motor of 100kW (or 136bhp DIN), it delivers an exceptional level of performance with maximum torque available from start-up. As a result,
it can accelerate for 0 to 62mph in just 8.7 seconds (and from 0 to 30mph in 3.3 seconds.) Taking full advantage of a very low centre of gravity with the batteries under the floor, DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE is able to deliver a flawless ride. Moreover, with the ICE model already providing an excellent base in terms of soundproofing, the electric version also sets a new standard for interior ambient noise levels. Offering a potential range of 200 miles (320km) with the WLTP drive cycle, DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE can complete an 80% battery charge in 30 minutes from a fast-charging point. *E-TENSE qualifies for the UK Government’s £3,500 Plug-in car incentive grant. You can pre-order the DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE now at DS Store Eglinton, so why not drop by today, we look forward to welcoming you! www.dsstoreni.com Tel: 02871 812277. @DSstoreNI
NWRC helping businesses to become more competitive Over the past three years, the Business Support Centre (BSC) at North West Regional College (NWRC) has engaged with over 1100 businesses and supported the skills development of over 2,000 members of the North West workforce.
and innovation skills in a number of sectors such as Financial Services, IT Software, Engineering and Manufacturing companies.
NWRC also helps businesses with recruitment and upskilling through the Assured Skills Academies, having successfully run pre-employment Academies for some of the North West’s leading companies including FinTrU, Alchemy Technology Services and Danske Bank with others in the pipeline.
NWRC’s newly appointed Business Skills Manager, Sinead Hawkins said:
Skills development varies from practical vocational skills through to the development of leadership, management
(75% funding for staff CPD upskilling), bespoke training, and help develop new staff through the Assured Skills programme (100% DfE funded) and Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLAs).”
Local company, Metacompliance, is one “NWRC has a strong track of the many companies record of collaborating with local effectively engaging with business to deliver real NWRC. Metacompliance provides solutions in cyber security to There are many enable compliance and awareness for challenges companies its growing global face with the current customer base.
uncertainty surrounding the political landscape. Planning and risk management will be essential for survival.
benefits. With support from the Department for the Economy (DfE), the college can provide cutting edge research and innovation expertise and also, such as with Assured Skills, high quality training to ensure employers have the people they need to keep growing.” “We work with a full spectrum of businesses from locally-owned micro-businesses through to global inward investment companies.”
Sinead Hawkins, Business Skills Manager at NWRC
“There are many challenges companies face with the current uncertainty surrounding the political landscape. Planning and risk management will be essential for survival. Also, training businesses to apply more agile processes and to be internationally competitive is key. NWRC can help and support companies through the DfE’s Skills Focus programme
Christine Doherty, Manager for HR and Legal at Metacompliance said: “Over the past three years we have invested heavily in skills development and will continue to do so, as we believe this is key to our continued success. Strategic partnerships with forward thinking institutions such as the NWRC is an integral part of that mission.” “The partnership has enabled us to develop our team by concentrating on leadership, management, people development and human resources. Due to the excellent lecturing team we have seen significant growth of skills, style and capabilities within our team.” To find out how the Business Support Centre at NWRC can help your business call 02871276170 or visit bsc.nwrc.ac.uk
Allstate celebrates 20 years of business in Northern Ireland One of the province’s biggest employers, Allstate Northern Ireland is marking its 20th anniversary in business. Now with three offices across the country, Allstate Northern Ireland was founded in 1999 in support of its parent company, The Allstate Corporation – one of the largest publicly owned property and casualty insurance companies in the United States. In the years since, the technology company has been recognised for multiple awards for its high-quality software development and business solutions services. John Healy, managing director and vice president of Allstate Northern Ireland said “Our experience in Northern Ireland allows us to play a major part in the Allstate transformation plan, which is focused on accelerating and building upon a successful strategy of innovation so that we can continue to stand apart, not just as an insurance company but as a broader protection company. The plan is expected to see transformation in operational processes and technology across the enterprise which will enable a significant leap to customer-centricity.” The company now has over 2,400 employees based in offices in Belfast, the North West and Strabane. Thirty-eight of those employees celebrated twenty years of continuous service with a celebratory dinner in Belfast City Hall earlier this summer, attended by Suren Gupta, executive vice president, Allstate Technology and Strategic Ventures. Last year, the company further cemented its commitment to Northern Ireland, opening a new headquarters in Belfast, located between Belfast Central railway station and the River Lagan. The development has over 140,000 square feet of Grade A office space, extensive refurbishment of the towpath, adjacent boat marina and a restaurant unit at ground level. Working through the post Belfast Agreement era, the company has been a significant player in the economy and instrumental in developing the local skills base. Additionally, Allstate is now in the process of developing new apprenticeships in Northern Ireland. “At Allstate Northern Ireland, we are continuing to shape our culture to maximise innovation and entrepreneurship,” said John Healy. “Through
John Healy, Vice President and Managing Director of Allstate Northern Ireland (centre) celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary with some of the staff who have twenty years of continuous service. L-R Mark Lilburn, Pauline Lilburn, Jayne Workman, Paddy Warnock
our developing talent pool, strong leadership, diverse input and inclusive thinking, we bring value every day to the Allstate Corporation, harnessing and developing new ideas which propel our transformation strategy. We see the potential for Northern Ireland, a place where we have grown our workforce ten-fold and provided high quality jobs across Belfast and the North West.” As well as providing collaborative working environments, Allstate Northern Ireland has placed investment in reskilling employees through Open University. Initiatives like these have been encouraged by Healy, who as Allstate Northern Ireland’s leader and president of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recognises the need to ensure the workforce has the latest skills which can drive innovation and ultimately boost the NI economy.
the company’s ability to attract, motivate and retain a diverse pool of high-performing employees necessary for continuing development and ensuring that Allstate Northern Ireland remains a key global player. The company also understands the importance of giving back to local communities. One of these policies has been the creation of “Force for Good” committees in each of the offices, which awards all employees 15 hours to spend on volunteering opportunities of their choice. “Our socially responsible policies are considered as a core component of our company’s overall service and product offering,” said Healy. “We are unlocking our intellectual assets and people power to achieve a positive impact through initiatives which are authentic, valued, and critical to business performance.”
The importance of diversity in its workforce is celebrated by Allstate Northern Ireland. Inclusive diversity enhances
THE FINAL WORD
The Final Word
The power of collaboration by Ashleen Feeney, KPMG The launch of the ambitious ‘One Plan’ of two years ago evidenced a step-change in collaboration across the North West. The area’s in-built ability to work together benefits not just the region’s economy, but also society and makes it a unique and great place to live and do business. Here, the private, public and third sectors work together across borders in a fashion which is particularly unique and which isn’t easily found elsewhere.
It is this type of purposeful partnership which allows the North West to look to the economic future with more confidence, to look beyond the challenge which Brexit poses toward the prospect of a more prosperous future for all. That buoyant outlook is bolstered by a number of other important drivers which have great potential to help supercharge the North West economy.
A great example is the strong link between local employers and local education providers. They have worked together to make sure there is a steady flow of the right type of talent to meet the ever-changing needs of the economy.
Take for example the recent City Deal which will see £50m of funding to support innovation and to grow the digital sector and another £55m allocated to an Inclusive Future Fund which will be used to create jobs and tackle deprivation.
North West Regional College and Ulster University Magee Campus have been at the forefront of that collaboration, continually engaging with local businesses and new investors in the North West region to pinpoint their future talent requirements and tailoring their offer today to fit tomorrow’s needs.
It is imperative that the final agreement including funding plan are executed without delay, to support Derry City and Strabane District Council and their City Deal Partners deliver maximum private investment leverage and inclusive economic growth for the North West and beyond.
That focus – some of which has been delivered through the Assured Skills Academies Programme - has been instrumental in securing more and better jobs to the North West. The region should be proud to have companies such as Allstate, Alchemy Technology Services, E&I Engineering, Evermore Energy, FinTrU, Frylite, Learning Pool, Nuprint, O’Neills and Seagate, - a mix of significant players in the all-island economy or global market.
These are bolstered by plans to improve connectivity to and from the North West through the recent opening of the new North-West Transport Hub and in the not too distant future, completion of the A6 upgrade. Obviously, another delay to the A5 Western Transport Corridor following the recent announcement that a public inquiry will start in early 2020, is most frustrating.
This ‘can do’ mindset has helped indigenous companies to grow and wooed inward investors, creating a confidence in the North West which is impressive. In addition, it is also helping to temper the flow of talent from the region by providing better and more progressive employment opportunities locally to retain talent and attract some diaspora back home.
Furthermore, Foyle Port with its unique strategic location and operations covering two jurisdictions offers significant economic opportunities, not only through being the key gateway from the Causeway Coastal Route to the Wild Atlantic Way but also with a significant land bank offering incumbent companies room to expand or new investors to set up. Notwithstanding the slowly reducing infrastructure
investment gap, sustained collaboration across sectors and across borders is a core reason for maintaining confidence. On a final note, I was delighted to recently attend a KPMG Family Business Event held in the iconic set of the Late Late Show, to hear insights from one of Ireland’s leading and well-known Family Businesses established in Donegal – Magee1866. Reflecting on the important role Gay Byrne played over the latter half of the twentieth century in the transition to the modern Ireland of today, let’s ensure continued collaboration in the North West region delivers more catalysts of change needed, to truly transform the North West region over this half century. Our impact is greatest when we work together - collaboration is the future! Ashleen Feeney, Partner at KPMG
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The official magazine of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.