BUSINESS enterprise LEDCOM, which inspires local economic development, has recently published its annual report for the year ending 30th September 2022, revealing that LEDCOM support and facilities have helped towards the creation/safeguarding of 410 jobs across the Mid and East Antrim and the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council areas. This sees an 193% increase on job creation/safeguarded on the previous year’s results.

The Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough saw 117 jobs created whereas Mid and East Antrim benefitted from 93 jobs. The report also concluded that the employment created would have an economic impact of approximately £12.2 million and a gross added value of £1.1 million to the region.

LEDCOM, the Enterprise Centre for Larne and Ballyclare, has been encouraging entrepreneurship and community economic develop for 37 years. It offers a range of support and activities, from training unemployed people to assisting local start-ups by providing workspaces, support with business planning and development, and through mentoring schemes. In 2021/22 it worked with around 250 businesses and start-ups, with some 750 individuals accessing some of the many facilities and opportunities made available by LEDCOM.

The success of 2021-22 builds on the positive results of the previous year, when 212 jobs were created with a £10 million boost to the economy.

Dr Norman Apsley OBE, Chairman of LEDCOM said.
“We are delighted that LEDCOM has been able to build on the results of the previous year so successfully. It demonstrates the positive impact that this business enterprise has had in boosting economic regeneration in our region. Our focus is on inspiring and supporting individuals and companies locally, sharing our time and experience to help the economic growth of the community.

“As part of that we have a wide range of business programmes, covering inspiration, start-up, scale-up and mentorship, all of which are geared towards assisting start-ups and entrepreneurs and these figures, 410 jobs created with an economic impact of over £12M illustrate just how important these initiatives are.”

With a portfolio of managed workspace across the council areas, tenancy occupancy levels continued to perform well at Bank Road Business Park, Willow Business Park at 77% ,the Work Cube and Foundry House in Ballyclare, a new and ongoing project continues to improve and grow in line with the charitable objectives.

Ken Nelson MBE, LEDCOM’s Chief Executive continued.

“We are very fortunate to have so many tenants who run excellent businesses across various sectors, each one contributing to the local economy. We have continued to work effectively in partnership with local councils, and other Enterprise NI members.This year’s report is strong and should be welcomed. I’d like to thank all of the team for their hard work during the year and one such example can be proven via the social output value. It is over £100k and has to be applauded. This includes staff time, pro bono use of the conference facilities, incubation support and the Board’s voluntary time.

“I’m exceptionally proud of this small organisation and its large and valuable output to the local economy.”

At this year’s Annual Business Networking Lunch, LEDCOM was delighted to be joined by Richard Kennedy, Chair of InterTradeIreland as keynote speaker as well as Jenny Ervine, of Raise Ventures and Kilwaughter Minerals Ltd. LEDCOM draws on the expertise of leading business people who share their knowledge and expertise of business and entrepreneurship.

Richard Kennedy, Chair of InterTradeIreland said;

“In InterTradeIreland, we understand the entrepreneurial landscape very well, as we have supported thousands of firms on their innovation, trade and funding journeys. LEDCOM has to be commended for their strong annual report and the added value that it brings to the local towns and community.

“It is clear, under the exemplary stewardship by the Board and its senior management, that this business enterprise will continue to underpin the local business community and strive to make a real and lasting economic impact through their various charitable objectives.”

Jenny Ervine of Raise Ventures and Kilwaughter Minerals said:

“At Kilwaughter Minerals, like LEDCOM, we want to connect with our communities and champion economic growth where we can, particularly in our local communities. It’s fantastic to see valuable advice and support given to numerous SMEs and entrepreneurs, helping them in many areas close to our own journey with product development, business process, and innovation. As a partner, Kilwaughter Minerals is delighted to see how well LEDCOM has performed over the reporting period.”