£1.12m project to aid business costs

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LURGAN woman Anne Mason is heading an innovative award-winning project to help local businesses share in £1.12m in European funding.

The STEM Project has been relaunched to help scoop a share of EU funds and bring financial and environmental savings and benefits to the business community.

Part funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme - the project is set to assist 220 small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) save money, boost profits and reduce their impact on the environment.

Businesses will be offered the opportunity to participate in a range of networks and clusters and avail of five days support that will help them identify cost savings in energy and waste.

As Project Management Officer, Anne is already helping a number of local businesses and has welcomed the support of 11 local councils, including Craigavon Borough Council, which are backing the project.

Alderman Arnold Hatch said: “We are delighted that local businesses can take advantage of the STEM Project especially in this current economic climate. Anything which will help our business community save money and increase their competitiveness is very welcome.”

STEM will promote and encourage the formation of cluster groups and networking between businesses. The project will identify opportunities for businesses to collaborate and join forces to tender and win new contracts and access new markets.

Group Chief Environmental Health Officer Martina McNulty from the delivery partner SGEHC, said: “The STEM Project is a fantastic example of what collaborative working across councils can do to boost economic growth for local businesses and at the same time ensures a real contribution towards environmental sustainability.”

In its first cycle the STEM Project helped over 300 businesses collectively save over £500,000 and achieve an Environmental Management System (EMS) accreditation. The new and updated version of the STEM Project is set to work with 220 businesses across 11 cross border councils and aims to collectively save them £625,000.

Chairman of EBR, Cllr Jackie Crowe, said: “I was involved in the previous STEM Project and saw first-hand the real savings both economic and environmental that businesses can achieve as a result of participating in the programme

For more information or to register to the STEM Project please contact Adele on 07917155014 or email info@stemproject.com.