08/10/2019

New Invest NI Chief Must Prioritise Economic Equality

The new Chief Executive of Invest NI has been advised to hit the ground running in his new role by promoting regional economic equality.

Kevin Holland was announced as the investment agency's new chief this week. He is due to replace outgoing CEO Alastair Hamilton at the end of the month.

SDLP Economy Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan MLA welcomed the appointment by adding the "lack of opportunity West of the Bann" to Mr Holland's in-tray.
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"For far too long, communities West of the Bann and in the North and West of Belfast have been deprived of investment, opportunity and quality jobs," the west Tyrone MLA said. "A slow repartitioning of the North on an East/West investment axis has left those communities most in need starving for a fair chance at a living.

"Before the collapse of the Executive, the SDLP was developing legislation that would have compelled public bodies to target investment at communities with the greatest objective need. In the absence of power sharing institutions, the new Chief Executive of Invest NI should begin in a spirit of reaching out and supporting those trying to create new employment to sustain our communities.

"We will be seeking an early meeting with Kevin Holland to set out some of our priorities and to work with him as he takes on this significant challenge."



(JG/CM)

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