Under Local Government Reform (LGR) the previous 26 local councils merged to become 11, with the new councils officially coming into being on 1 April 2015. The map below shows how the council boundaries have changed, and the new areas covered by the new councils.
As part of LGR, the councils will have enhanced responsibility for local economic development and local tourism (amongst other functions) in their area. From 1 April 2015 some of the areas linked to local economic development, that have historically been delivered by Invest NI will be transferred to the councils. These are:
The programmes that Invest NI has historically run to promote entrepreneurship in these areas such as Regional Start Initiative and Social Entrepreneurship Programme will end once the transfer is complete later this year and the councils will establish their own solutions to helping promote entrepreneurship in their area.
Invest NI has been working closely with local councils to plan for this change and ensure a smooth transfer of these functions. These working relationships will continue with our Regional Office teams liaising closely with Councillors and officials to support economic development across Northern Ireland.
As part of the changes under The Local Government Act (NI) 2014, the new councils will also have responsibility for Community Planning. This will provide a framework within which councils, departments, statutory bodies and other relevant agencies and sectors can work together to develop and implement a shared vision for promoting the economic, social and environmental well-being of their area based on effective engagement with the community. Invest NI will have an active role in contributing to the Community Planning Process within each council area.