Some 50 new businesses have been registered in Limavady in just three months - putting Limavady ahead of London when it comes to entrepreneurialism.
In less than a year, 116 new firms were registered in the Limavady area, according to figures from the UK’s official registrar of businesses, Companies House.
It is the remarkable surge in new businesses in the third quarter that puts Limavady ahead of every other area in Northern Ireland and even ahead of London when it comes to entrepreneurialism.
New businesses make up 6.1 per cent of all companies in the former Limavady council area - a higher percentage than London on 4.9 per cent and well ahead of the next best performer in Northern Ireland - Carrickfergus on 4.8 per cent.
In the first six months of 2015, 66 new businesses had been registered with Companies House.
It should be noted that the figures do not give an indication of the number of people employed by each firm or the overall size of each company but former Limavady Mayor Alan Robinson said they represented a “growing confidence” in the town.
“It is undoubtedly good news but there has to be balance”, the local DUP Councillor said. “There are still problems with unemployment in Limavady and there are a lot of young people out there who are struggling to find work.
“It is remarkable news and maybe in some respects this is part of a growing confidence in Limavady. We see the positive developments in Ballykelly and everything good that is hopefully going to come out of that. I firmly believe that our fortunes are on the turn in Limavady and the dark days of Seagate pulling out are behind us.
“It is also about sustaining these local, indigineous businesses and hopefully adding to that with development at Shackleton in Ballykelly. My hope is that these new businesses are here for the long term. This is good news but there are still negatives that we have to keep in mind.
“I was unemployed as a young person for a long time and I know what it is like - it is not nice. As I said to the young people during my speech at th recent prize giving at Limavady High School - there is hope. Another small thing worth noting is that the town centre WiFi is now up and running. I am pleased to see that Limavady is now firmly in the 21st century.”