North West Trade Delegation to Massachusetts

Boston Trip Golden Bridges North West Delegation 2016

Preparing for the upcoming North West Trade Delegation to Boston Massachusetts Front row L to R: Rick Le Vert, Kinnegar Brewery, Seamus Neely, Chief Executive Donegal County Council Cllr. Hillary McClintock Mayor of Derry, Cllr. Terence Slowey Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, John Kelpie, Chief Executive Derry City & Strabane District Council, Kevin O’Connor, Derry City & Strabane District Council. Second Row L to R: Michael Tunney, Donegal Local Enterprise Office, Eleanor Hanna and Amanda Jane Hanna, Hanna Hats, Martin Breslin, Donegal Socks, Martina Rogers, Northbound Brewery, John McNamara, Sendmode, Orla Ward, O’Neill Sportswear . Third Row L to R: Ursula Donnelly, Donegal Local Enterprise Office, Andrew McElhinney, O’Donnell Bakery , Liam Ward, Donegal County Council, Siobhan Donaghey, Modern Democracy, Malachi Eastwood, Gartan Technologies, James Moran, SLM Connect, Andrew Homden, Consilum Education

Civic leaders, businesses and officials from the North West will be embarking on their largest ever delegation to Boston, Massachusetts later this month.  This delegation, which is being jointly led by the Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Terence Slowey and the Mayor of Derry, Cllr. Hilary McClintock, will see 17 businesses from across the North West region participate in this overseas trade mission with a view to expanding or further expanding their business in the US market.    

This mission will comprise of a week long programme of events and meetings culminating with attendance at the Golden Bridges conference on the 18th November.     

Along with both Councils, other participating organisations include Udaras na nGaeltachta, Invest NI, Enterprise Ireland, Ulster University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the North West Regional College.    

“This mission has a trade and investment focus as well as an educational focus and is building on the work done over the last number of years on developing the North West’s cultural, political and economic linkages with the City of Boston and the wider Massachusetts knowledge corridor” says Seamus Neely, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council.    

A new video showcasing the region as a prime location for business has been commissioned especially for this mission and this will be launched along with a new brochure to promote all aspects of the region.    

“The North West region has a compelling and attractive proposition for investors” says John Kelpie Chief Executive of Derry City & Strabane District Council.  “We have a strong and diverse SME sector with a global outlook and our location on the island of Ireland means that we are the gateway to one of the world’s largest markets.  This promotional material will help us tell our story and share with our counterparts in Massachusetts all that our region has to offer.”    

Businesses participating in this mission are multi-sectoral comprising digital tech, education, agri-food, manufacturing and creative industries.    

John McNamara from Sendmode at CoLab LYIT is one business participating in the mission.   

“We specialise in mobile marketing, mobile vouchers and SMS marketing and 65% of our business is in export markets.  We plan to use this visit to Boston to research the feasibility of the US market and its potential to help us maintain growth in our business”.    

Businesses have been participating in an intensive development programme under the auspices of the Donegal Local Enterprise Office and have been provided with supports to assist them in ‘perfecting their pitch’.  While on the Boston side, Benchmark Strategies have been commissioned by both Councils to develop a meeting and business networking events schedule focusing on Foreign Direct Investment, lead generation and export relationship development.     

“This mission is a great example of the strong, strategic partnership between Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council.  Both Councils have an excellent track record of working together for the betterment of the North West region” says Seamus Neely.    

John Kelpie agrees saying “We are a vibrant, diverse and resilient region.  By working together we have created a space for our business sector to showcase their entrepreneurial flair, their capacity to innovate and their desire for success.  The Golden Bridges Conference has provided us with an excellent platform to highlight what the North West has to offer, to make connections and to build strong mutually beneficial relationships.