Northern Ireland

Westminster committee to examine effectiveness of north's investment strategies

Northern Ireland Affairs Committee chairman Simon Hoare
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee chairman Simon Hoare

THE potential to create jobs and boost economic growth in Northern Ireland through British government investment strategies is to be examined by a group of MPs.

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee inquiry plans to investigate the legacy of decades of under-spending on skills and infrastructure, as well as a lack of inward investment.

The inquiry also aims to examine the wider work required to make the north more attractive for investors.

Committee chairman Simon Hoare MP said long-term underinvestment, coupled to periods of political instability, had created a situation where the "best and brightest often feel they have little choice but to build their careers elsewhere".

He said that where there had been prosperity it "has not been enjoyed by all sections of society".

"The government believe that the post-pandemic world, Brexit and the net zero revolution present Northern Ireland with an 'historic opportunity' to attract investment," he said.

"With a range of investment schemes up and running, including the New Deal for Northern Ireland, City Deals, and foreign direct investment initiatives, and more to come in the form of Levelling Up Fund money and the Shared Prosperity Fund, the government clearly has plans not only to deliver investment, but to encourage business to do the same."

He said the committee's inquiry would seek to "understand the impact of these measures, gain a deeper understanding of the mood of business and explore the relationship between skills, educators and employers".