Invest NI sets out support for business

Invest Northern Ireland has today formally published its third Corporate Plan, covering the period 2008-2011.  The plan sets out how increased expenditure in support of new and locally owned businesses will be targeted to create wealth for the benefit of the whole community.

Commenting on the Corporate Plan, Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive of Invest NI, said:

“The over-riding aim of this Corporate Plan is to increase business productivity. Helping existing and new businesses based in Northern Ireland to grow by selling more products and services in external markets will lead to economic growth and greater wealth for all.

“Since the majority of our clients are locally owned small and medium-sized businesses, assisting them to realise full potential will deliver the highest returns in the short term. A constant focus on innovation will yield an increase in the number and quality of businesses with sufficient scale to compete and succeed globally.

“We will also build on the success of the recent USNI Investment Conference to attract high-value FDI in target industries, notably financial services, software and ICT. In addition, we will boost indigenous businesses and start-ups in high-value sectors, including certain tradable services, niche manufacturing, life sciences and the creative industries.

“To achieve longer-term growth, we will support both our public and private sectors in developing leading-edge innovation and frontier technologies.

“This means prioritising our support and allocating budget accordingly.  Over the next three years, we anticipate:

  • a 34 per cent increase in expenditure in support of Research, Development and Innovation schemes, assisting client companies to achieve challenging R&D targets;

  • a 25 per cent increase in expenditure in support of business starts primarily with the potential to compete in external (outside Northern Ireland) and global (outside UK) markets;

  • a 39 per cent increase in expenditure on locally owned clients with growth projects; and

  • an 8 per cent decrease in expenditure in support of FDI, for new investors and for projects from existing, externally owned clients.  This reflects the decreasing capital intensity of new projects, especially in the tradable-services sectors.

“We have committed to acquire and/or develop a further 200 acres of serviced land to support the growth ambitions of our clients in a small number of priority locations.  These are within the main hubs identified in the government’s Regional Development Strategy.”

In conclusion, Leslie Morrison, said: “This Corporate Plan sets out clearly how Invest NI will deliver against the relevant targets in the Executive’s Programme for Government. It has been developed in close consultation with, and has been endorsed by, our clients and stakeholders.

Copies of the Corporate Plan can be downloaded at