Business

Investment in 20 start-ups as new enterprises increase by 12 per cent

Anne Morgan, Ulster Bank; Diane Roberts, Xcell, and Simon Seaton, Ulster Bank, pictured at Xcell’s new premises at 112 Donegall Street Belfast
Gail Bell

A COMPANY that helps Northern Ireland entrepreneurs is investing £450,000 in its own new premises - that will also include workspace for around 20 start-up businesses in Belfast.

Xcell Partners has purchased almost 3,500 sq ft of office space at Donegall Street in the city as a new office and 'tech co-working space'.

The company, which has operated the Propel Progamme on behalf of Invest Northern Ireland since 2009, recently won its third contract with the government agency to manage a start-up accelerator programme, prompting its move to a larger base.

Diane Roberts, who founded the business in 2007, said the space was needed as the company's workload with high-end start-ups continued to expand.

"We work primarily with high-end start-ups and companies that want to achieve accelerated market growth or have global potential," she said.

"In addition to our current projects, our clients include Enterprise Ireland, and a range of private clients. Over the past few years we have also been an active player in the local investment scene and we are currently close to launching a further initiative."

Comprising office space and open plan warehouse, the building will be the first of its kind in the city, offering 'hot desk' space on monthly rates, as well as meeting and function rooms for hire.

The move, which has been supported by Ulster Bank, coincided with the publication of the latest Entrepreneurs Index report which shows the number of new enterprises in the north increased by 12 per cent in the year to March this year and now sits at 67,000.

However, the report by Barclays and the BGF (Business Growth Fund) also found that the region had only nine deals resulting in wealth creation of £200,000 or more over the 12 months to the end of June.

This is a slight decline from the same period last year when 10 such deals were secured.

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