An Investment Zone that would cover the whole of Northern Ireland is something that is going to be raised with ministers, according to Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch. She believed it to be a very interesting idea that needs to be explored further.
Plans For 12 New Investment Zones With One In Northern Ireland
Back in March in his Budget speech the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that there were plans for 12 new investment zones, with one of these to be set up in Northern Ireland. These zones benefit from increased funding, as well as tax incentives, in a bid to drive growth and help companies develop exciting new ventures.
Here is what Dame Andrea Leadsom and Kemi Badenoch said about these planned investment zones, as quoted in an article on The Independent website:
Speaking in the Commons, Tory former Cabinet minister Dame Andrea Leadsom asked: “What consideration has (the Secretary of State) given to creating an investment zone that covers the whole of Northern Ireland that would bring much-needed investment to that much-loved part of the United Kingdom?”
The Investment Zone Policy Is Owned By The Levelling Up Department
Ms Badenoch responded: “I think this is a… very interesting idea. I do know that the investment zone policy is owned by the levelling up department, so I will raise it with the Secretary of State there and with the Northern Ireland Secretary of State.
“But what I think I must say is that officials from the UK Government and the Northern Ireland civil service continue to work closely to explore developing investment zone policy in the country.
“The lack of a functioning executive there has of course limited the scope, and the nature of engagement on investment zones, but if the executive is restored we will work together to progress an investment zone at pace. And if it isn’t formed, we will set out different plans in due course.”
It Would Be A Great Help To Our Economy
These sort of plans always take time of course, but let’s hope that the government do follow up with these investment zones and create one here in Northern Ireland, as it will be a great help to our economy and the companies involved. It needs co-operation from all sides and this needs to be forthcoming from the Executive in Stormont sooner rather than later. It remains to be seen when the Executive will finally sit around the table together.