Dungannon is enjoying a boom in job creation and investment after latest figures revealed it was Northern Ireland’s leading rural hotspot for new employment opportunities.
Figures released by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment show that the local council district has the highest concentration of newly created job opportunities in Northern Ireland, outside of Belfast and Newry.
In the past year, a total of 164 new jobs were created in the Dungannon District by locally owned firms. By contrast, the figures for neighbouring councils Cookstown and Armagh were 65 and 40, respectively.
Twice as many new jobs were created by local companies in Dungannon than in the council areas of Craigavon and Derry.
The majority of the posts, 102, were created in the booming food sector, with the next highest in horticulture, 28.
Only one new post was created in the engineering field, previously one of the district’s most flourishing sectors.
The local food sector has performed strongly throughout the recession and it is hoped that the financial benefits will ripple throughout the district.
Additionally, there were 102 jobs promoted through the Enterprise Development Programme in the local district, the highest figure in Northern Ireland outside of Belfast.
Carrickfergus and Moyle had the joint lowest total of new jobs at 18.
Reacting to the news, Dungannon Councillor Bronwyn McGahan, who is a member of Dungannon Enterprise Centre said: “These figures are a testament to the hard work that has taken place in recent years to stimulate job creation in the Dungannon area, particularly within the agri-food sector.
“Much of this good work was put in place by the former Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew who obviously has a strong link with the town as the MP for Fermanagh & South Tyrone and I am hopeful that her successor, Michelle O’Neill, will work to ensure that this success not only continues but is built upon.
“As a councillor for Dungannon area, I will be actively working to ensure that the benefits of this growth will benefit the entire community and that there are sufficient job opportunities, particularly for our young people.