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Job Creation And Industrial Development

Volume 979: debated on Tuesday 19 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the statutory bodies concerned with job creation and industrial development in Northern Ireland are required to meet any specific targets and objectives during the current financial year.

The three main bodies concerned, namely the Department of Commerce (DOC) the Northern Ireland Development Agency (NIDA) and the Local Enterprise Development Unit (LEDU) operate under statutory authority, supported, where appropriate, by guidelines which in the case of LEDU, are reviewed annually. While there are no quantitfied annual targets, DOC is responsible for encouraging investment and job creation in companies employing more than 50; LEDU has similar responsibility for the smaller firms, employing fewer than 50, and also for fostering craft industries; and NIDA's responsiblity is to stimulate investment in the Northern Ireland economy through provision of finance, by way of loan and equity. The general objective of these bodies is to maximise the creation of jobs in sound projects in Northern Ireland within their approved annual budgets.