Development of an Integrated Economic Development Strategy for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

Client: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is located north of Belfast and has a population of 137,000 (7% of the Northern Ireland total) and around 65,000 jobs. The area has traditionally been one of the manufacturing hubs of Northern Ireland but in 2016/17 suffered the economic shock of losing two of its largest manufacturers Michelin and JTI Gallaher. An Economic Impact Assessment by SQW found that the two closures resulted in over 2,000 jobs being lost in the local economy and a 13 per cent decrease in total GVA output.

In this challenging context, SQW was commissioned by the Council and partners to develop an Integrated Economic Development Strategy. The strategy process involved review and consultation on the area's prospects, SWOT analysis, development of priorities and economic strategic framework, and production of an economic action plan. The emphasis of the strategy is around encouraging more entrepreneurship, fostering a culture of innovation, attracting investment and maximising the local skills base. The strategy was launched by partners in January 2018.

The strategy document can be downloaded here.