New NI enterprise zone to boost growth

The new enterprise zone in Coleraine, announced by Chancellor George Osborne during the 2014 Budget, will be "another tool to lever economic growth", Northern Ireland Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has said.

The new pilot enterprise zone, and Northern Ireland's first, will be situated on a site close to the University of Ulster. The move will benefit existing projects such as the new £20m data centre set up by IT company 5NINES.

"It will enable the 5NINES project to benefit from the additional incentive of enhanced capital allowances," Mr Hamilton said. "This is particularly attractive to capital intensive investments such as this data centre."

The data centre is expected to attract other high-tech companies to the area, where the Project Kelvin fibre-optic line between Northern Ireland and the United States comes ashore.

The mayor of Coleraine, Councillor David Harding, praised the Chancellor's decision:

"The chancellor's announcement of an enterprise zone in Coleraine is very welcome good news for the local economy.

"Young start-up companies and entrepreneurs coming out of the university will hopefully be able to avail of an enterprise zone to create jobs and wealth," he said.