125,000-job track record: Invest NI marks 20 years

Invest Northern Ireland is marking 20 years of supporting business growth across Northern Ireland.

More than 125,000 jobs – two-thirds of them outside Belfast – were generated by businesses backed by Invest Northern Ireland over the past 20 years.

Since establishing in 2002, the Northern Ireland business agency tasked with both supporting the growth of local businesses but also attracting inward investment, has provided 66,000 offers of support to 15,000 businesses.

“Our core role has always been to grow the Northern Ireland economy”

In this time the agency has secured 300 new inward investment projects and increased exports by Northern Ireland businesses by 46%.

It has also encouraged more innovation, investment in R&D and skills development that has led to investment of more than £12.7bn by companies in the local economy.

Driving ambition

Acknowledging the milestone, Mel Chittock, Invest NI Interim CEO, said: “Our core role has always been to grow the Northern Ireland economy. This has stayed at the forefront of all we have done in the past 20 years.

“Our team has supported many ambitious, innovative businesses, from SMEs to large-scale organisations, and everything in between. Some companies have even been with us on their business journey since the very beginning, and it has been a joy to see each grow and succeed over the years.

“We’ve grown as an organisation too,” Mel added. “Our physical presence has increased through our regional offices, and we’ve expanded our global reach through our international offices, to effectively promote Northern Ireland to international businesses.

“As we innovate, grow and look to the future of business, we will support the Department for the Economy’s 10X Economic Vision and its priorities such as green economy, innovation, emerging technologies, and key sectors, with the same commitment and passion as the last 20 years.”

Rose Mary Stalker, Invest NI Board chair, said: “Invest NI’s support has impacted a wide range of sectors. Our teams across our regional and international offices have enabled us to help deliver a stronger, regionally balanced economy, and lasting, real and positive change to people’s lives.

“Of course, we haven’t achieved this on our own. We continually worked in partnership with the 11 local councils, academia and business industry, using a collaborative approach to make Northern Ireland a great place for business.

“At a time of global change, we now have the opportunity to build on our success to date and ensure Northern Ireland’s place as one of the most successful small, balanced, sustainable economies in the world.”

Invest NI’s full range of business support can be explored at investni.com

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.