North Antrim is ‘missing out’: TUV

Jim Allister said the TUV 'stand alone' in uncompromising opposition to Sinn Fein
Jim Allister said the TUV 'stand alone' in uncompromising opposition to Sinn Fein

TUV leader Jim Allister has expressed his disappointment that Invest NI support for North Antrim has fallen to “an all time low”.

The North Antrim MLA said: “I am dismayed to discover by way of a written question that Invest NI’s support for North Antrim fell to an all-time low last year in terms of the percentage of aid provided across Northern Ireland.

“In 2011-12 North Antrim received a paltry 2.9% of Invest NI’s aid. This rose to 5.9% in 2012-13 but in 2013-14 it crashed to 1.9%.

“I have previously exposed the fact that North Antrim has only had eight visits through Invest NI in the last five years by potential foreign investors.

“Yet the Belfast constituencies in the same period had been feted with 739 foreign investment visits. Both facts reveals a socking neglect of North Antrim by Invest NI in terms of seeking and winning foreign direct investment.”

TUV Westminster candidate Timothy Gaston added:

“These figures would be shocking at any time but they are particularly so given the huge blow which North Antrim suffered with the loss of JTI Gallahers.

“Following the announcement of its closure there were many grand promises of support from the Executive and particularly Invest NI to do all they could to bring new employment opportunities to the area.

“These figures reveal the sad truth that while there was a lot of talk there has been little action.”

Mr Allister said that figures from Invest NI showed that as a percentage of the overall funding in Northern ireland, North Antrim attracted 3.6% in 2009-2010; 5.7% in 2010 - 2011; 2.9% in 2011-2012.

There was a rise in 2012-20123 to 5.9% but 2013-2014 dropped to the lowest figure of 1.9%.