Local firms have been urged to bid for the contract to deliver the InvestNI Business Startup Programme in Foyle, after it emerged that the legal case halting the awarding of the contract has now ended. SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has called on local companies to 'Go For It' now the legal proceedings have been shelved.
Invest Northern Ireland has been forced to reissue tenders for the multi-million pound contracts for its business start-up programme after the legal action.
Go For It, the training and information programme designed to help businesses get up and running, had been run by Northern Ireland's local Enterprise Agencies for 20 years until September 2011. At that time Invest NI awarded contracts instead to to KPMG, and the Scots company Go Group, a move which was heavily disputed.
Mr Ramsey welcomed the move to halt legal proceedings.
“I have been working for several months with stakeholders including InvestNI to try to ensure that support for entrepreneurs could be accessible and sustainable in the absence of the tailored Go For It programme," he said.
"There has been a long-standing concern that as a result of the legal action, entrepreneurs wishing to start a business in the constituency have not been able to avail of the support that would have normally been managed through local contractors.
"I am delighted now that the legal blockage has been cleared and the way is now paved for the Business Startup Programme to be re-tendered and I look forward to seeing the support needed by local entrepreneurs in my constituency being provided once more."