Our North Eastern Regional office is located in Ballymena and provides advice and support to potential entrepreneurs, start-ups and established businesses within the Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council areas.
During our Corporate Plan period, 2011-12 to 2015-16, Invest NI support in this area has helped to promote almost 4,500 new jobs.
The region is home to some of Northern Ireland's best known companies including home-grown manufacturing successes like Randox, who export over 95% of its products worldwide and Wrightbus, who continue to invest to provide innovative vehicle solutions for its customers in international markets.
Key inward investors located in the North East Region include the global aerospace component firm RLC, who recently announced 80 new jobs and a £35 million investment, leading manufacturer of medical devices Terumo BCTand Ryobi who manufacture innovative aluminium components for the automotive sector.
The North East Region is also home to ambitious smaller manufacturing and service businesses that are developing strong reputations for customer focus, growth and exports.
Our North East Regional Office has supported emerging companies like:
The North East Regional Office works extensively with businesses seeking to sell outside Northern Ireland for the first time with a particular focus on developing customers in Great Britain and Republic of Ireland. We also work with local businesses to help them achieve export success in international markets.
Our support has helped:
We are focused on helping the North East maximise its economic potential by working in partnership with local stakeholders and other key local influencers to help drive economic activity within the region.
Stakeholders we work with include:
Under local government reform, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council have greater responsibilities for economic development. As part of the Community Planning Process, we are working with these councils to develop and implement Community Plans tailored to the specific needs in each area. The plans will play a central role in developing the economy of the North Eastern region.
Susan O'Kane is Invest Northern Ireland's Regional Office Manager for the North Eastern and Eastern Regional Offices.
Susan has been with Invest NI since 2003 and has held a number of roles working with businesses throughout Northern Ireland. Working with the ICT sector gave her an insight into raising funds, being commercially focused and the importance of a strategic management team. Susan had worked with companies in the textiles sector and understands the need for businesses to be continually innovative, with products, processes and markets, in order to remain competitive.
Previously Susan had been seconded from Invest NI to UKTI, Dusseldorf, Germany, selling the skills of Northern Ireland on a European basis. She is a strong supporter of BITC's Code Club Initiative in local primary schools and YENI's entrepreneurship programmes.
Her sectoral experience, as well as an extensive knowledge of the Invest NI suite of support, ensure the Eastern office is helping to develop the economy by assisting new export focused companies and existing businesses looking to grow in new markets.