Posted on Thursday 10 October 2013 by Ulster Business

The new Bombardier CSeries Aircraft

The government has approved support for a new £120m research and development project at Bombardier in Belfast which could create more than 230 jobs, it has been announced.

The project was revealed by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers on the eve of a major investment conference at Titanic Belfast at which around 120 top level executives from 14 countries will be encouraged to invest in Northern Ireland.

Ms Villiers said Invest NI and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) will provide up to £12m and £8m respectively towards the R&D project at Bombardier.

The Secretary of State also said that as part of its strategy of promoting Northern Ireland in international markets, the Executive would be opening a Bureau Office in Beijing to strengthen relations with China.

She also confirmed the Government had approved the Executive's request for additional borrowing of £15m over the next two years to progress its flagship shared education campus at Lisanelly.

Ms Villiers statement was an update on the economic pact agreed between Stormont and Downing Street in June. She said several proposals had been implemented aimed at helping the local economy take advantage of the opportunities the conference could yield.

The statement said: "The success of the G8 summit has given us a solid platform on which to build Northern Ireland's reputation as an attractive destination for investment. The world saw the best of Northern Ireland and the Executive and Government are committed to ensuring it continues to be seen as a great place to start and grow a business.

"This week's investment conference will showcase the brilliant business opportunities which exist in Northern Ireland. Our reputation for excellence in key sectors and our highly-educated workforce, excellent infrastructure, advanced telecoms and transport networks and competitive cost environment mean Northern Ireland is now one of Europe's leading inward investment locations.

"However, further action is needed to address the long term challenges Northern Ireland faces in building a shared society and rebalancing the economy. That was the purpose of the economic pact. On both counts - as we demonstrate in today's update - progress has been made. But this is only a beginning and positive steps towards a prosperous and united community will continue."



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