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Council Champions Economic Resilience at Northern Ireland Economic Conference

Business leaders and senior decision makers across the private and public sectors attended the recent Annual Northern Ireland Economic Conference, at the Kingfisher Country Estate, Templepatrick.

Hosted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, this year’s conference took place against a challenging economic backdrop.

Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Rosie Kinnear, opened the conference highlighting the many challenges businesses are facing at present. The Deputy Mayor went on to pay tribute to the positive impact made by the Council,

“Despite the challenges, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has bucked the trend.  We have continued to create jobs, sustain employment and secure investment both locally and from international companies. Through resolute commitment, determination and collaboration with local businesses, our Borough has attracted close to £1billion of inward investment this year.

“In the current climate, it is more important than ever that Local Government, use the full force of its economic development and planning powers, alongside more regeneration activities to support entrepreneurs, businesses and investors to create jobs, support economic growth and create prosperity for our communities.”

The conference, chaired by John Campbell, BBC NI Economics and Business Editor, also had a line-up of business experts, including Financial Times columnist Chris Giles, Director of the University of Ulster Economic Policy Centre, Gareth Hetherington, Dr Lisa Wilson, Senior Economist at the Nevin Economic Research Institute, and many more.  Elected Member, Alderman Mark Cosgrove, participated in a panel discussion addressing the crisis related to the 'Cost of Living.'

The Council’s newly appointed Chief Executive Mr Richard Baker GM, delivered a powerful presentation on ‘Driving Growth in the Local Economy’, sharing how despite facing some of the most difficult circumstances since the economic crash of 2008, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is steadfast in its commitment to support, nurture and grow its business community.

“We are committed to leading the strategic growth agenda, facing challenges head-on, and demonstrating resilience and innovation. Our award-winning economic development service stands as a testament to our vision, bravery, and calculated risk-taking. In the face of a dynamic and ever-evolving economic climate, our resounding message is clear: 'Find a way to say yes' to businesses seeking support, driving inclusive growth, sustainability, and economic prosperity across our Borough."

The Annual Northern Ireland Economic Conference provided a vital forum for navigating economic challenges. With notable speakers and insights, the event highlighted the Council's resilience in job creation and investment. The conference underscored a commitment to fostering economic growth and collaboration in the face of uncertainties.