Could Investment Summit Bring NI Construction Boom?
Northern Ireland could be about to benefit from some major new investment, which could keep the construction sector busy as new offices and plants are built.
This is because the unique position in regard to its post-Brexit situation, so long regarded as a big political problem, also offers some possible advantages. These have been highlighted at the Northern Ireland Investment Summit, which took place in Belfast on September 13th.
Business and Trade secretary Kemi Badenoch was there alongside the Princess Royal, highlighting the fact that firms based in Northern Ireland have the best combined access to both the UK and EU single markets.
Ms Badenoch said: “Northern Ireland is one of the most exciting places to invest in the world, with its unique trading position and deep expertise in industries of the future.”
These words were echoed by Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris, who said: “The productive, global relationships built in this room today will benefit Northern Ireland businesses and communities for years to come.”
Professional services firm EY was one of the first companies to make a commitment, promising 1,000 new jobs over five years with one new base in Belfast and another in the north-west, which could keep the diggers busy if they construct a new building for the purpose.
A lot of new offices, scientific research and industrial space will certainly be needed if more companies confirm investment after attending the event, with the focus on attracting professional and financial services, manufacturing and life sciences.
While Northern Ireland may not be able to offer the same corporation tax breaks as the Republic, it can benefit from its dual position of access to two markets otherwise split apart by Brexit. Out of that may come as much good news for the construction sector and plant hire firms as it does for those seeking jobs in services and high-tech firms.