Lisburn wants to go extra mile to woo more investors
The city of Lisburn has set up an inward investment programme in a bid to attract businesses to the area.
Allan Ewart, chairman of the city council's economic development committee, said: "We want to persuade more businesses to look at Lisburn and choose us for their investment.
"To do this we have developed a unique inward investment programme alongside a dedicated website, investlisburn.com which promotes Lisburn's advantages and successful track record to potential inward investors from elsewhere in Northern Ireland, the rest of the UK and abroad.
"Lisburn is a business friendly location.
"Lisburn has always welcomed new investors but we want to go further, helping new investors integrate into the Lisburn business community and looking after the companies already here."
DUP Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said the city need to expand its retail offer and improve its amenities.
He said the area also needed a "boutique-style hotel" to help improve its evening economy. There is already a Premier Inn Hotel on the city's Hillsborough Road.
Mr Donaldson said the city also wanted to attract more office employment, including business incubation units, which would help increase footfall.
The city has also set up its own 'Lisburn soft landing programme', with businesses offering free advice to companies setting up in the city.
There is also a Lisburn ambassadors' network to enable those with a link to the city to promote it.
A spokesman for the city said there were examples of firms who had relocated to Lisburn from Belfast to take advantage of lower overheads - including IT firm P2V Systems.
The firm recently won a contract from the Houses of Parliament to provide ticket sales systems for tours of the building.
A spokeswoman for the firm said: "Since we moved to Lisburn in August 2013, our team has increased from four employees to 11 employees... there is probably more support on offer than we realise. Our location is excellent in Lisburn city centre with two airports within 15 miles."
Helios IT boss Garry McDonald said it had also shifted operations to the city.
"Lisburn was one of the first three exchanges back in 2011 to get connected up for fibre broadband. If we couldn't have got the 60M fibre broadband speeds we enjoy we couldn't have moved."