Businesses in key ABC Council hubs contribute £2.7bn to economy says report

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon lord mayor Julie Flaherty, Ethna McNamee from Invest NI and the council’s chief executive Roger Wilson launch the Economic Infrastructure Strategy and Action Plan

BUSINESSES in key employment hubs in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough collectively contribute £2.7 billion a year to the Northern Ireland economy, a new report reveals.

From that, 88 per cent of direct gross value added (GVA) across the 19 sites is generated at three locations - Carn and Seagoe industrial estates in Craigavon, and Silverwood business park in Lurgan - which are home to some of the north’s biggest companies including Moy Park, Almac and Thomson Aero.

As well as other industrial estates across the borough, the key employment hubs identified in the report include retail clusters like Rushmere in Craigavon and the Boulevard in Banbridge, in addition to the enterprise parks and centres.

The findings were revealed at the launch of the Council’s economic infrastructure strategy and action plan, which highlighted the area’s key economic strengthsand a plan to maximise its assets, including land and infrastructure.

The ABC borough is home to a vibrant economy and growing commercial sector, and boasts more than 8,300 businesses, and with an annual total contribution of £3.6 billion, it accounts for about a tenth of Northern Ireland’s GVA.

Lord mayor Julie Flaherty said: “This report recognises the importance of our key employment areas in the borough and sets out our ambitions for further growth.

“We want to make sure we are working with the business community to sustain their growth, and this strategy and action plan makes sure we are focussing our economic development activities in the areas where we can make the biggest difference.”

Ethna McNamee, regional manager at Invest NI, said: “We look forward to working with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to deliver the action plan. This borough is a significant contributor to the region’s economy and has huge potential for further investment.”

Kevin Reid, global vice-president of marketing at the Almac Group, added: “Our global headquarters has been located in Craigavon since its formation 50 years ago and we are proud to have 3,000 employees now based in Seagoe.

“This report highlights the key economic strengths for the borough and it is encouraging to see the Council making a targeted effort to focus on the areas that contribute most to the local economy.”

The economic infrastructure strategy and action plan report, a collaborative project with Invest NI, highlights a range of measures which will contribute to increasing opportunities for growth and highlighting the area’s strength as an investment location.

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