Council Enterprise Initiative Wins NILGA Awards
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council celebrated winning the ‘Best Enterprise Initiative by a Council’ category at the 2020 NILGA Awards on Thursday 20 February.
The award recognised the impact of the ‘Social Enterprise Newry, Mourne and Down’ (SENMD) initiative, which is delivered by Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency and Down Business Centre. The award was picked up at a special event hosted by Sarah Travers at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast.
The Awards are co-ordinated by Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) and the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE). This year they attracted 58 entries and showcased brilliance in service provision, new initiatives and the personal commitment from councils, councillors, staff and partners. The categories are designed to foster innovation, exceptional commitment and great work, providing opportunities for local government’s staff and members to step forward and learn from great example.
In welcoming this award Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said, “This award is an important recognition of the foresight and innovative approach of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. The Council’s approach has been to develop strong strategic partnerships such as that with Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency and Down Business Centre, which has created an enterprise culture in the district. This unique partnership approach continues to deliver jobs and prosperity for the citizens of the district”.
Social Enterprise Newry, Mourne and Down (SENMD) programme manager, Stephen McClelland praised the social enterprise sector in the area for their contribution in winning this Best Enterprise Initiative award saying, “The contribution of the social economy to the wider economy of Newry, Mourne and Down cannot be underestimated. It is as relevant and as important as the private businesses on our high streets. Social economy and community run businesses are the glue that bind our places together; they build the social capital that provides us with our sense of place and of who we are. They also contribute to the wealth of our community through the assets they own and the businesses they manage”.
Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency Chairman, Peter McEvoy hailed the award as “Recognition of the transformational impact of social enterprise in the district. They create training opportunities where the market is unable to, they create employment pathways for those furthest from the labour market and support individuals and families in their local communities. They are our local employers, paying wages that flow into our wider economy, training people to move into jobs in the mainstream economy and critically investing in new economic development initiatives, new business start-ups, planting the seeds of tomorrow’s employers today”.