Evaluation of Invest NI's suite of Property Interventions

Client: Invest Northern Ireland

Invest NI, an agency of the Northern Ireland Executive's Department for the Economy, operates a suite of commercial property market interventions. These include: the purchase, holding and sale of serviced sites to qualifying businesses; the Property Assistance Scheme, a capital grant to support firms to invest in the development of their property; the provision of Property Market Information to help firms find the space they need: Rental Property Solutions for industrial firms; and contributing to the planning system by supporting the development of planning strategies etc.

The evaluation assessed each of these five interventions individually, and the overall rationale for property-based intervention. It involved a mix of primary and secondary research, including consultations with intervention managers, stakeholders and beneficiaries. A benchmarking exercise was also undertaken to compare the Invest NI interventions against those in other areas. Quantitative and qualitative impact assessments were undertaken for each intervention, leading to a value for money assessment.

The overall conclusion from the evaluation is that selective intervention in the commercial property market can and should be used to support those businesses with potential to develop and grow, and improve Northern Ireland's overall economic performance and positioning. The report includes a series of recommendations to support Invest NI and partners to do so.