20/05/2005

Invest NI reveal best ever results

End of year results announced by Invest NI have shown the government agency has helped companies in Northern Ireland invest almost £0.5 billion to “set up, develop, innovate and become more international”.

Professor Fabian Monds, chairman of Invest NI, said this year’s results, in this the agency’s third year, were gratifying not just because of the level of financial investment but also because of the quality of projects.

“These are Invest NI’s best results so far,” Professor Monds said. “The agency has exceeded its targets in most of its key areas. We have concentrated our resources where they will generate the maximum return for the economy and have supported significant investments by local companies in research and development, staff development, operational excellence, export markets and technical and e-commerce capability.”

Other figures in this year’s results include:
  • Overall, Invest NI made over 7500 offers of assistance to companies and individuals.
  • Of these, 3717 were offers to businesses, representing an aggregate Invest NI commitment of £135 million, and leveraging a total investment of £492 million.
  • A further 3824 offers were made to support the creation of new locally focused businesses. Invest NI also supported 22 community businesses start-ups.
  • Business committed to invest over £45 million in over 200 R&D projects, including almost £19 million in assistance from Invest NI.
  • Over £3 million was spent on trade programmes involving 1322 companies.
  • 1137 business improvement programmes were delivered, with a big increase in investment in staff training and development activities aimed at raising the skills levels of managers and workforces.
  • There was a significant increase in investment by companies in knowledge related capability building, including a 68% increase in the number of companies being assisted to install broadband.


Commenting on the figures, Leslie Morrison, chief executive of Invest NI, said: “I believe we can be justifiably proud of what we achieved, not just last year, but indeed in our first three years.”

Mr Morrison said the agency’s new corporate plan, which focuses on three key economic drivers - being entrepreneurial, being innovative and being international - set even more demanding targets for the next three years.

“Its overarching aim is to increase the wealth of the Northern Ireland economy, the key long-term measure being gross value added per capita,” he concluded.

(MB/SP)

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