Invest Northern Ireland’s International Business Team were in Mid Ulster for two days last week, getting to know the area and meeting representatives from Mid Ulster District Council; Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council; and Fermanagh & Omagh District Council to build relationships, understanding and joint purpose and explore potentially future collaborative working arrangements.
The internal staff conference is held in a different Northern Ireland location each year, allowing the team an opportunity to properly get to know the area they are trying to sell to investors.
Invest NI has a strong overseas presence, which includes 23 offices in over 17 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, as it increases its global footprint to further support both its FDI and Trade strategies.
This year the International team scheduled two days in Cookstown - internally to review strategy and operations, and locally to learn about the propositions for the Mid Ulster area. Earlier this year the three Councils confirmed their intent to develop a proposition and work towards a Growth Deal to boost economic growth and deliver a step change to the future prospects of the collective area.
At the networking event held at Mid Ulster District Council’s flagship literary and arts centre, Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the team were given access to HomePlace exhibition followed by an overview of the Council’s key messages and propositions, and met and heard from local exporting companies their perspectives and plans to grow via export and identify where in market resources can be of help to support strategic plans.
Welcoming the delegates to Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Mid Ulster District Council Chair, Councillor Martin Kearney said, “Strategically located, the Mid Ulster area has a widely acknowledged strong, diverse and dynamic business base, together with a growing, highly skilled, educated and entrepreneurial workforce to pursue the aspirations of firms investing here. Mid Ulster District Council’s plan for economic growth is both innovative and ambitious, and seeks to deliver a clear message that Mid Ulster is ready to do business.”
Steve Harper, Executive Director of International Business said: “Partnership working between Invest NI and councils is central to driving growth and investment across Northern Ireland.
“Each year our internationally based staff come back to Northern Ireland to attend the staff conference. Alongside this the team visits a part of Northern Ireland to learn more about what it has to offer investors and businesses.
“Our visit to Mid Ulster afforded the team the opportunity to hear from the Council about its key investment proposition, and from local companies about their export ambitions. This was an important opportunity for our team to get more detail around the specific economic plans the Council has and how it plans to position itself to attract investment to the area.”
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Martin Kearney, pictured with delegates at the recent Invest NI International Week networking event held at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy.