Ballymena gets £1.7m innovation centre to host 125 new jobs

  • A £1.7m innovation centre with the potential for 125 new jobs by 2022 has opened in Ballymena.

    The Innovation Centre at Ecos was officially launched in by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in partnership with Catalyst, with the aim to redevelop the existing building into an innovation hub for local businesses with high-growth potential.

    The facility offers 20,000 square feet of digitally-enabled Grade A office space and has already attracted 94 knowledge-economy jobs.

    Tenants include PlotBox, a management software firm that digitally transforms cemetery mapping and Clarke Facades, a firm which designs, fabricates and installs major construction projects across the UK and Ireland.

    The venue can also be used for conferences and social enterprises, with USEL (Ulster Supported Employment), taking over the catering facilities on site.

    Over 100 attendees at the official launch were told the project was phase one of a wider vision to create an innovation district in Ballymena to drive economic growth.

    Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy, said:  “A £26m City Deal investment will develop Phase 2 of Grade A office space as we work to regenerate the St Patrick’s Barracks site in the town to establish an innovation district.

    “On behalf of Council I want to thank all our partners who have helped us realise this vision and continue to work with us in delivering the next phase, which will create an additional 463 jobs in this sector.”

    Andy McDonald, Business Development Manager at Catalyst, added: “Securing high-growth, technology-focussed companies with over 30% growth per year and providing them with an environment to succeed has been key to the continued success of this project.

    “We are excited to introduce a dedicated co-working suite to the Innovation Centre at Ecos in early 2020 which will give early-stage companies the opportunity to access support programmes and grow and innovate together.”

    The innovation district will integrate several new buildings planned for the former barracks site, including social housing, a leisure centre, civic centre buildings and a Northern Regional College campus, delivering an economic boost for Ballymena of £150million.


    Source: Ballymena Daily

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    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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