The UK Government provides financial support to industry through the Industrial Development Act (IDA) 1982. The government proposes updating this Act to reflect current economic conditions. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) launched a consultation on 20 July 2011 to gather views on the desirability of revising the IDA, highlighting four aspects of the legislation for amendment. Of particular interest to the Northern Ireland Executive and in turn the EAG, is the aspect which asks for comment on the removal of the automatic assisted area status of Northern Ireland.

This paper sets out the EAG response to the BIS consultation on the Revision of the IDA, 1982 and concludes that Northern Ireland is in a unique position in the UK and that retention of its automatically assisted area status would benefit the region’s drive to:

  • compete successfully for inward investment;
  • rebuild its economy in the aftermath of the recession;
  • rebalance the economy toward a more private-sector, export-oriented economy;
  • ensure equality of investment within the region;
  • guarantee a more efficient use of public resources;
  • and promote the eradication of the prosperity gap between NI and the rest of the UK.

Download the response