Mid and East Antrim shortlisted for prestigious ‘Council of the Year’ accolade

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has been shortlisted for a prestigious award in recognition of its hugely successful promotion and support of social enterprises.

Mid and East Antrim shortlisted for prestigious ‘Council of the Year’ accolade

The Council is in the running for the title of ‘Council of the Year’ for its role in supporting the establishment and growth of social enterprises in Mid and East Antrim and Northern Ireland as a whole.

The Social Enterprise Awards Northern Ireland 2017 take place in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast, on Friday 27 October and celebrate excellence and best practice at local government level.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “It is a huge honour to be shortlisted in the ‘Council of the Year’ category at this prestigious awards ceremony.

“Social Enterprise Northern Ireland is the main networking organisation when it comes to the promotion of social enterprise, and it is a representative body for social enterprises and social entrepreneurs.

“These awards are an important opportunity to highlight and promote the diverse range of business talent and development opportunities within the social enterprise sector in Mid and East Antrim and Northern Ireland.

“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has consistently demonstrated its dedication to a flourishing local economy and supporting economic development in our Borough.

“Our dynamic and innovative social entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our Borough, and their voluntary commitment and selfless efforts play a vital role in helping us all to build a stronger economy for the benefit of all our citizens.

“The awards celebrate the talent, entrepreneurship and ambition of social enterprises and I wish all the entrants well ahead of this year’s event.”

Anne Donaghy, Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, said: “This is deserved recognition of Council’s support for the social enterprise sector through strategic development and financial commitment.

“Our Council has a proven track record and ongoing commitment to creating major social enterprise regeneration and investment schemes in the Borough.

“Council’s Enabling Scheme has injected over £5million of capital intervention through the development of workspace facilities and vital community services, creating significant income streams to support social enterprise growth.  In addition, a wide range of Council-funded business support programmes have been delivered in the Borough, including tendering support, exploring enterprise and tailored mentoring, attracting participation from social enterprises.

“Through its Corporate Plan, Council is committed to delivering excellent services. Growing the economy is our number one strategic priority in Mid and East Antrim and these awards are recognition of our social economy sector’s significant contribution to that.

“Awards such as this are testament to the hard work and vision of our voluntary social entrepreneurs in Mid and East Antrim and Council staff’s efforts in supporting them to reach their growth potential.”

Council recently took a number of stands at the Balmoral Show, and Clearer Water, a successful business operated through Acceptable Enterprise Larne as a social enterprise, were among those showcasing their products to thousands of visitors as a result of subsidised intervention from Council.

Social Enterprise Northern Ireland is an independent, member-led organisation and is promoted as a gateway for social enterprises in Northern Ireland.

It provides opportunities for collaboration between social enterprises and the public and private sectors.

Its activities support all levels, from start-ups and community groups at the beginning of their social enterprise journey, to more experienced social enterprises.

Photograph: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy and Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Councillor Paul Reid