Subregional Economic Action Plan

Oral Answers to Questions — Economy – in the Northern Ireland Assembly am 2:30 pm ar 3 Mehefin 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Sinéad McLaughlin Sinéad McLaughlin Social Democratic and Labour Party 2:30, 3 Mehefin 2024

T1. Ms McLaughlin asked the Minister, given that the Assembly is looking forward to scrutinising the subregional economic action plan to be published in September, whether he will ensure that the objectives and actions of the plan do not relate solely to Invest NI. (AQT 331/22-27)

Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin

The intention behind the subregional action plan is to ensure that we get all the actors in each area to come together to identify the needs of that area. Some of that may be Invest NI work, some of it may be for the Department for the Economy and some of it may be for other Departments. We want to ensure that local areas get some resource, get the necessary structures in place and find their voice in order that they can represent the economic interests of those regions to the centre. I anticipate that the centre will respond accordingly to the needs that have been identified. That work is clearly about democratising local economic impact and ensuring that those voices are clearly heard and that there is resource to match the requirements in each area.

Photo of Sinéad McLaughlin Sinéad McLaughlin Social Democratic and Labour Party

I thank the Minister for that answer. I know that he appreciates that a functioning Invest NI alone does not represent regional balance and that it has a much wider remit than that and is about not just his Department, as other Departments have to come in beside him to commit money and resources with him in order to really deliver deep and meaningful regional balance that will have good outcomes. I welcome the Minister's commitment to that. Rather than ask another question, I will say that I know that this is an ongoing issue that needs to be resolved quickly in this mandate.