Of the total investment commitments secured by Invest Northern Ireland since 2005, more than £130 million depended upon the availability of Invest NI industrial land to client companies across the region.
With the availability of property an important factor in investment decisions, Invest NI manages a limited portfolio of serviced sites and buildings that are available for sale or lease to client companies.
More than 80 Invest NI clients acquired serviced sites in the period which were essential to support their overall investment projects. As a result, in excess of £130 million of investment commitments from the manufacturing and tradable services sectors have been secured. This represents an average of approximately £1 million of private sector investment per acre purchased.
“By providing a number of serviced sites throughout Northern Ireland, Invest NI has demonstrated that it can help to secure investment opportunities by meeting the individual accommodation requirements of investors,” says Invest NI Chief Executive, Leslie Morrison.
Demand for such property is high, as companies expand existing operations and new investors locate here. Given this high demand, Invest NI will continue to focus its efforts on obtaining planning approval to open up land held as a strategic reserve. A recent success is Global Point in Newtownabbey which is now being actively marketed by Invest NI.
Invest NI is now seeking to acquire further sites to facilitate future investment and is actively targeting a number of areas as part of its land acquisition strategy.
Mr Morrison adds: “We currently have 810 acres of serviced sites available for sale or for lease across Northern Ireland and a limited budget to acquire new land. We therefore have to prioritise acquisition in locations where we anticipate the highest level of demand from our clients.
“Our draft Corporate Plan 2008-11, launched for public consultation only yesterday, includes a target that 75% of our land acquisition and development will be in areas of economic disadvantage.”
“A generous supply of land zoned for industry, and the continued provision of affordable serviced sites will be of critical importance if we are to continue to support the growth of our local firms, both locally and externally-owned. In order to protect future investment opportunities, Invest NI will also continue to support the identification and retention of appropriately zoned land.”