Invest NI has had a long-standing commitment to supporting economic development in Northern Ireland.
We work with the business community and partner organisations in supporting business development, helping increase productivity and export levels, attracting high quality inward investment and stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation.
In 2014/15 we supported 3,000 businesses with their growth plans, be that through job creation, capital investment, investing in skills, innovation or research and development, or helping them to reach new markets.
More than two-thirds of those businesses were located outside of Belfast. This support helped stimulate £1.4bn investment in the local economy last year, £899 million of that by businesses outside of Belfast. Even more impressive is that investment outside Belfast has grown by 273% over the four years of this Programme for Government.
Companies including Randox in Antrim, Autoline in Newry, McColgans in Strabane, and Webtech in Enniskillen are just a few of the businesses that have contributed to this growth.
There is a frequent misperception that job creation is focused in Belfast. Yet last year 73% of the 9,410 jobs created with our support were within businesses located outside Belfast. In addition to our direct support to businesses, we work in partnership with stakeholders to support activities to help drive economic development in the regions.
Our regional offices are working closely with local councils to develop their economic development plans, and in identifying their unique selling points that will help attract investment and growth in the area.