Our team has summarised the key developments for NI businesses in the news this week.
Family chosen by Setanta Construction to live rent-free in unique energy-efficient house - A young family from Mid Ulster has been chosen to live rent- and rates-free for a year in a unique new ultra-energy-efficient house in Magherafelt developed by Setanta Construction. Courtney Gallagher, her husband Michael and their two children were chosen by Setanta following a thorough interview and selection process to participate in a live research monitoring study in collaboration with Ulster University. (Source - Irish News)
Westland's sales and profits wither as 'great gardening boom' fades - Sales and profits have fallen substantially at Dungannon-based gardening product business, Westland Horticulture as the great gardening boom of the pandemic wanes. According to its most recent financial report for the year ending August 28, 2022, sales dropped by 11% to £225.6m while profits before tax sat at £14.2m, down almost 45% from 2021’s £25.6m. (Source - Irish News)
Invest NI hails 'strong performance' as external sales smash through £20bn mark - Economic development agency Invest NI is hailing a “very strong performance” as the businesses it supports showed increases across all key performance indicators. And in a performance update for 2022, it says its external sales have surpassed £20 billion for the first time. The results come after an independent review by former BBC chairman Sir Michael Lyons concluded that “dysfunction and division” at leadership level within the arm’s length body were harming its economic performance. (Source - Irish News)
Four manufacturing leaders inducted into Hall of Fame - Four renowned and respected industry veterans have been named as the second tranche of inductees into the Northern Ireland Manufacturing Hall of Fame, which recognises stalwarts who have made an exceptional contribution to manufacturing and engineering. The honour was bestowed on the quartet at a leadership summit in Derry's Guildhall, held as the culmination of NI Manufacturing Month. The inductees are John Bosco O’Hagan, founder and group chairman of Specialist Group; Walter Watson, founder of Walter Watson Ltd; Mark Hutchinson, chief executive of Hutchinson Engineering; and George Fleming, chairman and founder of Fleming Agri Products. (Source - News Letter)
Merchant Hotel secures spot in top 10 per cent of world's hotels – The Beannchor-owned facility has been recognised by travel giant Tripadvisor as a 2023 Travelers’ Choice award winner. It celebrates businesses that have consistently received great traveler reviews on Tripadvisor, placing winners amongst the 10 per cent of all listings on the site globally. (Source - The Irish News)
Power NI and SSE Airtricity confirm rise in bills as government discount scheme comes to an end (Source -Belfast Telegraph)
Finalists unveiled for made in UK awards – The event celebrates the UK’s most innovative and successful manufacturers, ranging from SMEs to multinationals. NI finalists include Raptor Photonics, Almac Group, Edge Innovate, Kane Engineering Ltd, Crust & Crumb Bakery, Mallaghans (Source - Insider Media Ltd)
Octopus Investments backs £50m roll-out of EV charging point company Weev - The north's vastly under-served electric vehicle charging infrastructure has been significantly boosted by a multi-million pound cash injection into Belfast-based EV charge point operator Weev. London investment company Octopus has pledged to inject £50 million into Weev, which will allow it to massively scale up on plans to instal at least 1,500 new electric vehicle charging points in 350 locations by next year. Weev was established in 2022 by Dominic Kearns and Thomas O'Hagan to create the north's largest privately operated EV charging network, installing public chargers and end-to-end solutions for workplace and fleet, with its chargers enabling drivers to power up in as little as 20 minutes. (Source - Irish News)
House sales plunged by a quarter in April compared with the same month a year earlier, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures. (Source - Irish News)
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