Gordon Lyons orders independent review of Invest NI

An independent review of the work of Stormont’s business support agency Invest NI has been ordered.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 5:00 am
Sir Michael Lyons (left) with Economy Minister Gordon Lyons
Sir Michael Lyons (left) with Economy Minister Gordon Lyons

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said the move was required to ensure the operations of Invest NI align with his department’s economic strategy, 10X.

A commitment for Stormont departments to review the effectiveness of all their arm’s length bodies was included in the New Decade, New Approach agreement that led to the restoration of power-sharing in 2020.

The review of Invest NI will be undertaken by Sir Michael Lyons, former chair of the BBC Trust and current chair of the English Cities Fund.

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He will lead the independent assessment of the business development agency’s efficiency and effectiveness.

“The 10X Economic Vision my department published in May 2021 sets out our ambitions for the next decade and aims to create a step change in how we think about our economy,” said Mr Lyons.

“The realisation of this vision will ultimately see Northern Ireland situated amongst the elite small advanced economies in the world.

“Invest NI’s role in translating our 10X ambition into a new economic reality is crucial. Now is the perfect time to take stock and ensure the organisation is positioned to respond to a changing economic landscape in preparation for an economy that is ten times better.

“I am therefore pleased to announce that I have commissioned an Independent Review of Invest NI, which will examine its current business model and identify any support required to deliver our bold 10X policy objectives on innovation, growth and inclusion.”

The minister added: “Sir Michael has a distinguished track record and brings a depth of relevant experience which will be crucial in steering the public debate around the future of economic development in Northern Ireland.”

Sir Michael said: “The launch of the 10X Economic Vision presents a unique opportunity to encourage the reshaping of the Northern Ireland economy by placing innovation at the heart of policy development and delivery.

“Invest NI will play a pivotal role in the achievement of this vision and therefore it is the ideal time to review the organisation’s effectiveness and consider its capacity to deliver the 10X Vision.

“I am committed to ensuring all voices are heard as part of this review and am looking forward to working with key stakeholders from all sectors and regions of Northern Ireland.”