Southern Regional Office

Our Southern Regional Office is located in Newry, Co.Down. The team works with businesses within the Ards and North Down Borough Council, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council areas.

We work in partnership with stakeholders to drive economic development, providing support to help export focused businesses think strategically and achieve greater export sales.

In the southern region we work with local and international businesses. The main sectors within the region include: Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing, Financial, Professional & Business Services, Agri-Food, Construction and Life & Health Sciences.

Southern Regional Office supported business performance

Southern Regional Office activity stats

Between 2016-17 and 2020-21, we made almost 3,650 offers to local and international businesses. This support enabled nearly 1,100 businesses to bring forward projects that have the potential to create 3,719 new jobs in the area, and generate £479m of investment in the local economy.

More detail on our work in each specific council area is detailed below.

Council areas covered by the Southern Regional Office

Ards and North Down Borough Council

In the last five years we have provided support to 255 businesses in the council area to help them bring forward growth and expansion projects. Our support of £19m, combined with company investment, has the potential to generate £93m of investment in the local economy and create 719 new jobs.

Last year we offered over £6m of support to businesses in the area, a significant increase on the previous year. This will in turn generate more than triple the level of investment in the local economy (nearly £40m) on last year and three times as many jobs.

Our work with businesses, and our support to help them invest in growth and create jobs is a significant contributor to the Ards and North Down area community plan targets.

You can find more detail on the business make-up of the area and our specific support in the following briefing:
Download the Invest Northern Ireland Council Briefing for the Ards and North Down Borough Council area (PDF)

Our support included £814k of Local Economic Development funding to the council to develop a range of key programmes. This support was part funded by ERDF, under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020. These programmes have helped businesses with digital support, exporting, Brexit, procurement and Covid-19 advice and support.

Council led programmes include:

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council

Between 2016-17 and 2020-21 we provided financial support of £35m to 383 businesses based in the council area. As well as helping companies bring forward projects that will help them grow our support will potentially contribute towards almost £157m of investment in the local economy and the creation of 1,174 jobs.

Last year, the assistance we offered increased by 20 percent on the previous year (up from £5.9m to £7.1m). This in turn will lead to increased investment in the local economy and more new jobs. Our support is also a significant contributor to the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council community plan targets.

You can find more detail on the business make-up of the area and our specific support in the following briefing:
Download the Invest Northern Ireland Council Briefing for the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area (PDF)

Our support included £1.5m of Local Economic Development funding to the council to assist business digital services, exporting, Brexit, procurement and Covid-19 advice and support. This support was part funded by ERDF, under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

Council led programmes include:

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

We are committed to helping businesses to grow and compete and to working with local stakeholders to drive economic growth. We work in partnership with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to support it to support its Living Well Together community plan ;targets for investment and growth to the area.

Over the last five years we provided support of £40m to 438 businesses based in the District. Our support combined with the company investment has the potential to generate £229m of investment in the local economy and help create 1,826 new jobs.

Last year we made 286 offers of support, which will contribute to over £50m of investment commitments in the area. This included a significant increase in investment by externally owned companies.

You can find more detail on the business make-up of the area and our specific support in the following briefing:
Download the Invest Northern Ireland Council Briefing for the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area (PDF)

Our support included £1.5m of Local Economic Development funding to the council to develop a range of key programmes to meet local business need including digital, exporting, Brexit, procurement COVID-19 advice and support. This support was part funded by ERDF, under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

Council led programmes include:

Entrepreneurship

We are keen to hear from entrepreneurs who want to start, build or scale new businesses or ideas; so if you have an idea for a new business, a new product, service, business model or a new market opportunity, the Southern Regional Office can help. We provide advice, guidance and financial assistance to support entrepreneurs through the business development process from ideation through to commercialisation.

We also work in partnership with councils, local enterprise agencies, accelerators and further education colleges, providing early stage business startups with a growth pathway that ensures access to the right advice and support at each crucial stage of development

Find out more about support for Innovation on the innovateni.com website

Invest Northern Ireland support

We work directly and indirectly with businesses across Northern Ireland.

Our approach to supporting businesses is based on three key elements:

  • Providing information and advice, directly and through a range of information services
  • Providing support to people wanting to set up their own business and helping new and existing businesses grow and move into new markets
  • Providing tailored support to businesses that can make the greatest contribution to increasing productivity, innovation and export growth in Northern Ireland

Regional Manager - Mark Bleakney

Mark is the Invest Northern Ireland Southern Regional Office Manager. He has been in the role since 2004 and has extensive knowledge and experience in economic development and international business. He started his career in a global manufacturing business as an Industrial Engineer and has particular experience in the plastics, light engineering and heavy engineering sectors.

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Not sure that this support is right for you? Contact us and we can explore options for your business together.

Contact our
Business support team
0800 181 4422
or
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