Focus needed for Causeway Coastal Corridor - McMullan
Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has called for a focused effort to tackle underinvestment in the Causeway Coastal Corridor.
The East Antrim MLA said:
"The entire Causeway Coastal Corridor from Larne to the north coast has suffered from decades of underinvestment.
"Young people from the area, many of whom are well educated, have been forced to emigrate in search of work because of the lack of opportunities locally.
"In particular, the record of Invest NI in promoting and attracting business into the Causeway Coastal Corridor has been abysmal.
"Only three per cent of the assistance provided by Invest NI to companies in the North was spent in the Causeway Coast and Glens area.
"This is further compounded by the fact that there are no business or enterprise parks between Larne and Ballycastle.
"This is an area which is reliant on small businesses yet pitifully little support has been given to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
"There needs to be a concerted effort to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship in the Causeway Coastal Corridor. And crucially resources must be put in place to support that.
"The roll-out of high-speed broadband throughout the area is crucial to regenerating the economy and creating opportunities.
"This is an area with a strong rural and agricultural community and Minister Michelle O'Neill has been to the fore in supporting rural development with a record investment.
"It is now time for the enterprise minister and employment minister to follow suit and step up to the plate and have a determined focus on the Causeway Coastal Corridor.
"I will be bringing this issue before the Assembly to ensure action for the people of the area."