21/05/2013

Call For Effort To Promote Investment Opportunities In West Belfast

SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood has said there must be a concerted effort to promote investment opportunities in West Belfast.

Figures revealed in an Assembly Question asked by SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt demonstrate that West Belfast was given £4.46m financial assistance in 2011-12 and that in the period from 2007-2012 there was only 45 inward investment visits to the area.

Mr Attwood said: "The figures provided by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment lay bare the low level of financial assistance given to companies in West Belfast. This coupled with only 45 inward investment visits to the area from 2007-2012 is putting barriers up for business development.

"There is a stark difference in financial assistance provided to companies in South and East Belfast compared to West Belfast with only £4.46million allocated during the 2011-12 period. Given the talent among the workforce here this is simply not good enough.

"West Belfast is also lagging behind other parts of Belfast when it comes to inward investment visits by people including existing investors and stakeholders.

"Invest NI must assist companies in West Belfast who want to provide employment opportunities and harness the potential of a talented workforce. It is in all our interests to see businesses in this part of Belfast thriving and we must be allowed a fair crack at the whip. Invest NI has a responsibility to target areas of need and must ensure that West Belfast is given greater priority."

(CD/MH)


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