Invest Northern Ireland assistance promoted 310 new jobs in the new Lisburn and Castlereagh super council area during 2013/14.
End of year results from Invest NI show an increase in the offers made to companies, the level of assistance and investment throughout the council area last year. Offers rose by 10 per cent, assistance by 33 per cent and investment by 15 per cent.
Of the 310 new jobs promoted, 43 per cent were assisted through Invest NI’s Jobs Fund, representing a 50 per cent rise on the previous year. In addition, Invest NI encouraged enterprise in the area by means of the Regional Start Initiative, which promoted 106 of the total new job promotions.
More companies, both large and small, took steps to strengthen their competitiveness, particularly in international markets, by investing in research and development and skills with Invest NI assistance. Support towards R&D investment by businesses in the area rose by 112 per cent on last year and skills development increased by an impressive 438 per cent.
Mark Bleakney, Invest NI’s Southern Regional Manager, said: “The statistics clearly demonstrate that business confidence is improving throughout the council area as companies prepare to take advantage of the steadily improving economy.
“Invest NI has been encouraging and assisting company of all sizes, both externally and locally-owned, to invest in growth by means of initiatives that will enhance their overall competitiveness. The strategic focus on promoting enterprise is also providing tangible benefits particularly in terms of employment opportunities throughout the area.”
Invest NI has put in place processes to enable accurate reporting of the actual number of jobs created as a direct result of the projects which it has assisted. In doing so, Invest NI is the first development agency in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland to report in this way across all its job support initiatives.
“We now have the ability to analyse all offers of financial support which were ‘live’ at the beginning of our Corporate Plan period (2011-12) and extracted job creation against these offers. This shows that 801 new jobs have been created in total in Lisburn and Castlereagh in the last three years,” added Mark.