Belfast City Council is NI’s largest local authority; 60 Elected Members represent nine political parties.
As civic leaders, we seek to improve quality of life for our citizens and provide services and facilities including planning, parks and leisure, refuse and recycling and community services.
We also focus on attracting inward investment, building international relations, regenerating our city centre, promoting culture and the arts, tourism, community and economic development and regulating and licensing activities relating to environmental health, consumer protection, building and public safety.
We have a representative role on bodies and boards including education and health; and a consultative role in relation to functions conducted by other government bodies and agencies on planning, water, roads and housing issues.
Our first Local Development Plan (LDP) will set out a 15 year framework to address Belfast’s future economic and social needs, complemented by the Belfast Agenda 2035, Belfast’s first Community Plan, which has established an agreed set of ambitious economic, social and environmental outcomes between public agencies, businesses and communities. Meanwhile, Belfast’s Resilience Strategy outlines 20 strategic programmes to reduce emissions and protect the city from the effects of climate change.
We are also leading on the delivery of a transformative £1 billion Belfast Region City Deal programme of investment which is strengthening our offer in growth sectors such as life and health sciences, digital and creative industries, and advanced manufacturing. It is supporting next generation digital capabilities, boosting tourism and supporting our region’s regeneration, underpinned by infrastructure developments and investment in skills to connect people to jobs and services.
And we are founding members of Innovation City Belfast, a partnership created in 2021 to drive innovation in support of inclusive growth, and to establish the city as a destination for innovation and investment.
For more information, go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk
Nestled in the historic Glens of Antrim, on the North Coast of Ireland is where you will find Lir Whiskey. Owned by the McKillop family, they recognised an opportunity to create something special in Irish whiskey. The family is third-generation farmers, who have turned their entrepreneurial ‘spirits’ into commercial success, having founded several thriving businesses throughout the UK and Irish markets.
With an established background in the food and drink sector, the McKillop Trio; Michael, Mary & Charlie wanted to create blends of Irish whiskey with an exceptional taste profile that would appeal to all. From there, they began purchasing quality stocks from around Ireland with the ultimate aim to create a distillery, nestled in the Heart of the Glens. The Glens of Antrim is steeped in Irish folklore where spirits, myths, and legends meet and the distinct Irish Whiskey produced at the Glens of Antrim Distillery pays tribute to these mystical tales.
There have been three blends of Irish whiskey created, each with their own distinct taste profile, to appeal to the ever-growing army of whiskey consumers. The decision to invest in the new facility was in direct response to a decade of steady growth in the Irish whiskey market, particularly in the USA and Middle East. This, combined with an anticipated shortage of aged Irish single malts by 2027, was the catalyst that prompted the McKillops to bring their vision to life in the Glens of Antrim Distillery.
Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) is the region’s economic development agency. Its role is to grow the local economy by helping new and existing businesses to compete internationally, and by attracting international businesses to set up in the region.
As a location, Northern Ireland has exactly what international companies are looking for – a workforce that is educated, innovative, resilient and results-driven, who will go the extra mile to make sure the business is a success. Combine this with a superb infrastructure, competitive costs and excellent support packages and you have the ideal location. International companies that have chosen to locate in the region include Aflac, Agio, Allstate, Citi, Baker McKenzie, Seagate, Terex and Wolfspeed. In fact, over 1,100 international companies have set up in Northern Ireland and over 70% of the region’s inward investors go onto reinvest.
Northern Ireland also has a strong reputation as a global business partner, with companies from the region supplying expert products and services to over 100 countries.
The region offers a wide range and depth of expertise across a range of areas including fintech, cyber security, AI & data analytics, aerospace, materials handling, life & health sciences and professional services. Over the next few years, Northern Ireland will benefit from a package of investment of circa £1.3bn ($1.6bn ) from four city and growth deals. This will help further strengthen the region’s capability, helping to create global centres of innovation excellence in key growth sectors. They will provide opportunities for businesses, located both in and outside Northern Ireland, to collaborate and tap into the world-leading expertise of the region’s universities to create breakthrough technologies, products and services. Additionally, they will develop the infrastructure and test environments that will allow the next generation of products to be tested and trialled.
Invest NI helps international companies scale their business by offering tailored overseas expansion guidance, financial incentives and soft landing support. We also help international companies who are interested in strategically sourcing products and services from Northern Ireland.
To find out how Northern Ireland can help your business grow, please visit InvestNI.com/InternationalBusiness
The Northern Ireland Bureau is the diplomatic mission of the Northern Ireland Executive in the United States and Canada. We work to cultivate and strengthen links between various political, economic, educational, and cultural interests in Northern Ireland and North America. We also serve as a resource for individuals and organisations looking to learn and understand more about Northern Ireland, and about its relationship with the United States and Canada.
Our primary role is to promote Northern Ireland in the USA and Canada as:
- a creative, dynamic, peaceful and flourishing place, with an outward-looking, modern and resilient approach;
- a great partner for business trade and investment, for tourism, for policy collaboration and for further and higher education, including collaboration on research and development; and
- a region that is a showcase for the benefits of meaningful engagement and collaboration across the political spectrum, of the kind that helped deliver a peaceful Northern Ireland.
We work closely with a number of organisations, businesses, and institutions throughout the year to showcase the many positive developments and contributions—political, academic, cultural and civic—that are of interest to our North American audience.
NI Bureau Director: Andrew Elliott
NI Bureau Deputy Director: Eamonn McConville
Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination. It was established as one of the “six areas of co-operation” under the framework of the Belfast Agreement of Good Friday 1998. Tourism Ireland’s remit is to increase tourism to the island of Ireland and to support Northern Ireland to realise its tourism potential.
Tourism Ireland delivers world-class marketing programmes in over 20 markets across the world. Targeted marketing activity includes TV advertising, outdoor media, print, digital advertising, social media, influencer marketing, overseas publicity, co-operative marketing with carriers and other partners, and promotions to the travel trade and consumers.
In 2019, the island of Ireland welcomed almost 11.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of over €5.8 billion which supported 325,000 vital jobs in communities across the island.