Tasty trade mission aims to boost local business

Pictured with Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP (left) at the Palace of Westminster are Mayor Tim Morrow; Chairman of Invest NI, Mark Ennis; Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Dr Theresa Donaldson and Chairman of the council's Development Committee, Alderman Allan Ewart MBE. Pic by Kelvin Boyes, Press Eye
Pictured with Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP (left) at the Palace of Westminster are Mayor Tim Morrow; Chairman of Invest NI, Mark Ennis; Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Dr Theresa Donaldson and Chairman of the council's Development Committee, Alderman Allan Ewart MBE. Pic by Kelvin Boyes, Press Eye

Two hundred business people joined Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and a Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council delegation at the Palace of Westminster on April 18 for the local authority’s first ever food and drink trade mission in London.

The event saw representatives of 35 businesses from the Lisburn and Castlereagh area meet with potential customers and investors in a bid to increase trade, launch new products and promote their produce to the GB market.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP with the Communications & Community Investment Manager of Coca-Cola HBC, Gillian Shields; Mayor Tim Morrow; Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Dr Theresa Donaldson and Chairman of the council's Development Committee, Alderman Allan Ewart MBE. Pic by Kelvin Boyes, Press Eye

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP with the Communications & Community Investment Manager of Coca-Cola HBC, Gillian Shields; Mayor Tim Morrow; Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Dr Theresa Donaldson and Chairman of the council's Development Committee, Alderman Allan Ewart MBE. Pic by Kelvin Boyes, Press Eye

The food and drink trade mission was part of the council’s ambitious five-day investment programme in London, which also included the launch of a new strategy aimed at growing tourism in the local area. (Read related story - Surge in visitors could bring £30m a year into local economy)

“Our investment event at Westminster is the biggest to date and this is most certainly a reflection of our ambition. Hosting this event in the past has paid dividends for the local economy with projects in the pipeline equating to £40 million,” explained Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chairman of the council’s Development Committee.

“We want to get more investment into our area and by going out and selling Lisburn Castlereagh means we are also raising the profile of our local businesses and giving them a platform to grow.”

Stressing the local area’s potential for investment and economic growth, Mr Donaldson commented: “With Brexit firmly on everyone’s mind this is the perfect time to shout about Lisburn Castlereagh’s advantageous location on the Belfast-to-Dublin economic corridor. The area has a proven track record as being an industry powerhouse, from being the centre of the world’s linen industry and now home to multi-national and fast growing local businesses and I welcome further investment opportunities throughout the area.”

Mayor Tim Morrow added: “A lot of developments are concentrated in our capital city yet we neighbour Belfast and this can only be viewed as an advantage for investors.

“There is an air of confidence in our local economy and following on from the INTU announcement last week proposing an investment of £50million into Sprucefield Retail Park, there’s never been a better time to look at Lisburn Castlereagh.”

Summing up the investment programme in London, council Chief Executive, Dr Theresa Donaldson said: “This has been an extremely successful visit to London for the council with a number of events celebrating our vast tourism potential with the reopening of Hillsborough Castle, promoting our unique location for investment and moving one step closer to ensuring Lisburn Castlereagh is Northern Ireland’s newest and hottest culinary destination.

“The council will work with great vigour in securing investment and getting our area firmly on the map for investment.”

For more information about investment opportunities in Lisburn Castlereagh log on to www.investlisburncastlereagh.com or call the Investment Team on 028 9244 7484.