460 new jobs as economic ‘fightback’ plan reveals improving trend

A Job Fair in Ballymena

COUNCILLORS have praised the “fightback” plan and interventions being taken by Mid and East Antrim Council to continue to promote the economic growth profile of the borough.

Over the past year, 461 new jobs and five new companies has been secured for the borough from across a number of sectors including advanced manufacturing, renewables and construction.

The latest available figures show the expected GVA growth rate in 2018 is minus 1.7% which is an increase and improvement on the 2017 growth rate of minus 4.6%.

GVA is the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy.

Taking into account and the continued impact of the closures locally and Brexit uncertainty the expected recovery in 2019-2020 is predicted to be positive at 1.5% and 1.3% as a result of the increased investment in jobs creation.

This next phase of economic growth is focused on initiatives to develop the capacity, skills set and resources required to embrace new technologies such as Industry 4.0 and to attract new investors in growth sectors and game-changing investment opportunities including City Deal, Heathrow Hub and AMIC (Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre).

Speaking about the positive trend, Chair of the Borough Growth Committee, Councillor Gregg McKeen, said: “I would like to congratulate Council on the work that has been done in the face of very difficult times for the borough.

“If you look back over the years and some of the economic shocks we have had these figures are very encouraging.

“We can’t take our eye off the ball on this issue. We need to keep the focus on the creation of jobs within the manufacturing industry and other sectors in the borough where there are opportunities for growth going forward.

“I am happy to propose the recommendations outlined in the report and have faith that we are doing what is best for the ratepayers and the borough.”

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