Enterprise Zones still on the agenda, says Finance Minister

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton

ENTERPRISE Zones remain firmly on the agenda as a route to economic regeneration Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said yesterday.

Speaking after a visit to St Athan’s Enterprise Zone in Cardiff, he said that Enterprise Zones will continue to be considered by the Executive.

Mr Hamilton accompanied his Welsh counterpart Jane Hutt attending a number of engagements setting out the similar challenges that face both regions in rebuilding and rebalancing economies.

“The Executive’s Economic Pact with the Government includes a commitment to consider the merits of establishing enterprise zones that would have the ability to offer Enhanced Capital Allowances in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“It is important that we examine and look closely at anything that might be able to boost our private sector and get our economy going.”

The Welsh, he said, had operated seven enterprise zones for more than a year targeting very specific sectors for growth.

“The visit to St Athan’s, which specialises in the aerospace sector, enabled me to see a model including the infrastructure that is needed to support those businesses that have availed of development opportunities in growing their business.

“The aerospace sector is something that we, in Northern Ireland, are exceptionally good at, not in terms of just Bombardier but lots of smaller companies who feed into their supply chain.”