northern ireland space space race astronaut in outer space

NI Space Sector Grows, Mash Direct Turnover Soar, Jack And Grace Top Baby Names & more…

Northern Ireland space race launches further

Space industry jobs are burgeoning in Northern Ireland, with the sector tripling in size in the last financial year.

There are now 413 people employed, according to figures released by the UK Space Agency, an increase of 318 from 2019. 

Northern Ireland workers account for almost a third of the sector in the UK, which includes work on emerging technologies, debris removal and regional space clusters.


Mash Direct growing success

Northern Ireland’s award-winning vegetable accompaniment provider, Mash Direct, has increased its turnover by £2 million in the last financial year.

The field-to-fork brand saw a 9% growth in sales of its speciality in prepared accompaniments, as well as a wider range of offerings coming on stream over the past three years.

Increased demand across the UK for vegetables was a key factor in the increased turnover.


Jack and Grace top baby name rankings

The most popular baby names registered in 2021 were Jack for boys and Grace for girls, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research agency.

Grace has been top of the girls’ naming ranking since 2018 and has been in the top three lists for the last 16 years.

Jack was last number one in 2014 after 12 years at the top, and has appeared in the top 3 most popular boys’ name since 2000.

Northern Ireland parents’ creativity was also noted with 929 names appearing that had not previously been registered.


In Entertainment


Ireland’s biggest street art festival returns with a splash

Artists from Belfast’s vibrant street art scene have come together to launch Ireland’s largest street art festival. 

The 2022 ‘Hit the North’ Street Art Festival (HTN) supported by Hennessy, is returning with a splash to its May bank holiday weekend spot following two years of more intimate festivals.

For the first time since 2019, Belfast will play home to international artists travelling to Northern Ireland to take part in a ‘paint jam’ on Kent Street on Sunday 1st May.


More than Crazy Horses as the Osmonds return to the stage

The family that dominated the charts – and the hearts of many youngster in the 70s – will have their songs aired with The Osmonds: A New Musical show playing in the Grand Opera House Belfast.

The hit musical written, by Jay Osmond himself, is currently on its inaugural UK and Ireland tour 

The show features a chart-topping list of anthems including Love Me For A Reason, Crazy Horses, Let Me In, Puppy Love, One Bad Apple, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool, Paper Roses and many more. 


News from the Excalibur Press newsroom, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast

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