| 17.7°C Belfast

Dodds to present plan for economic recovery to NI Executive next week

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has said she is to present a proposed economic recovery plan for Northern Ireland to fellow executive ministers next week.

"I am working to develop the executive's roadmap to a strong competitive and regionally balanced economy," she told Friday's daily Covid-19 briefing at Stormont.

"I will bring a paper to the executive next week which will outline how we put the pathway to recovery into action."

"In terms of the road map to recovery, we've been working hard, identifying the sectors Northern Ireland can build upon to have a good long term strategic road map.

"We've been doing a lot of work with businesses to gauge where they're at, what they need, and how we go forward."

Mrs Dodds announced that the executive's £25,000 grant scheme for retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure industry businesses would be expanded to include those business who occupy rental properties.

The minister also said an already announced £40 million fund to support microbusiness in Northern Ireland would open next week to application, noting that already the NI Executive had distributed more than £250m in pandemic -related support to 2,500 businesses here.

She also revealed that the NI Executive would be making a further statement on loosening Northern Ireland's lockdown restrictions next week

"My understanding is that the First Minister and deputy First Minister will make a statement on Monday about some further measures that are to be released," she said.

She also defended her Ministerial colleague Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots, who had been criticised for a 'solo run', announcing the angling would be permitted in lands belonging to his department, arguing that since it was his decision to close the DAERA lands at the outbreak of the pandemic, the decision to reopen them was also his to take.

Belfast Telegraph