Economic steering group formed to support businesses

A BANBRIDGE District Economic Steering Group has been established to help drive forward initiatives that will support local businesses in these difficult economic times.

This idea was conceived at a breakfast seminar organised by Banbridge District Council back in February, which brought MLAs, MPs and councillors together with members of the local business community.

The Banbridge District Economic Steering Group held its first meeting on Wednesday 25 April and this was chaired by Councillor John Hanna. Membership consists of business representatives from various sectors and councillors from each political party elected to Banbridge District Council.

The group will act as a sounding board for developing ideas for local economic initiatives and actions. Discussions at the inaugural meeting focused on key local issues such as skills development, business space, commercial sites and opportunities in the agri-food sector.

The group will also set a policy agenda for lobbying for the Banbridge District, championing the district as a place to work, live and invest as well as influence skills development initiatives for economic development.

The group plans to meet once a quarter over the next year. The next meeting will focus on land development opportunities and will identify sectoral development opportunities for local businesses in partnership with Invest NI.

Economist Maureen O’Reilly addressed members of the group and circulated a copy of the report ‘The Business Environment and Wider Profile of the Banbridge District Council Area’.

A copy of this report is available to download at www.banbridge.gov.uk or by contacting the Council’s Leisure and Development Department on 4066 0609.