The Northern Ireland Executive has celebrated a century of aerospace innovation, and announced funding of over £14m to stimulate further economic growth for Northern Ireland.
Speaking at a reception in Brussels, economy minister Nigel Dodds said: ‘Your investment to innovate, in a competitive global marketplace, is an exemplar to other companies on how to move forward to achieve the economic growth targets set out in the agreed Programme for Government.’
He went on: ‘Northern Ireland has a proud tradition of aerospace innovation and is home to the world’s first aircraft manufacturer, Short Brothers. Today, the local aerospace sector is buoyant with successful companies such as Bombardier Aerospace, Moyola Precision Engineering and John Huddleston Engineering. The sector continues to see further economic growth in a fiercely competitive world economy with over 8,500 employees across a diverse range of companies and a turnover in excess of £800m per year.’
Commenting on the future of Northern Ireland’s economy, the minister said that he had secured an additional £14.15m to further promote innovation in the aerospace sector in Northern Ireland.
Dodds said that Invest Northern Ireland aims to promote inward investment projects, promising over 6500 new jobs by 2011 with investment commitments of £1.2bn. By 2011, Invest NI intends to have helped 45 new start-up businesses to become exporters outside the UK.