New infrastructure 'key to economy'
Prioritising new infrastructure projects can help drive the regeneration of Northern Ireland's economy, election candidates have been told.
Cutting excessive red tape around planning regulations will also enable the construction sector to recover, creating and securing thousands of jobs, industry representatives said.
The Construction Industry Group (CIG) called on all political parties to make infrastructure their key focus in the next term as it launched a blueprint document ahead of the election.
The CIG is the umbrella body that represents the interests of construction suppliers, contractors, professionals and specialists in Northern Ireland.
Jim Crooks, chairman of CIGNI, said: "Investment in construction activity is unique in creating immediate economic, social and environmental benefits across the community.
"A modern infrastructure benefits the economy by attracting investment, growing tourism and aiding existing business development. The infrastructure that our industry designs, builds and maintains creates immediate employment, long-term prosperity and a legacy for future generations to enjoy.
"Construction creates direct economic activity for builders, architects, engineers, electricians, plumbers and many other occupations and indirect economic activity for other related businesses.
"We are asking all election candidates to make infrastructure investment a key priority in order to support a platform for economic growth and prosperity across Northern Ireland."