Belfast’s Titanic museum. The North is now the sixth most affluent part of the UK, according to Barclays. Photograph: Getty

Barclays research suggests property market is a driver behind new generation of wealth

Belfast-headquartered UTV Media group confirmed yesterday it is in discussions with a view to a potential sale of its television assets. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ulster Unionist party leader urges Northern Ireland-based buyout

The committee met briefly on Thursday to establish its next step in the inquiry Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Group investigating the £1bn sale of Nama’s Northern loan book to Cerberus

Karen and Darren Gardiner: When Gardiner and his wife opened the first Ground Espresso Bar in 2001 in Coleraine it was more of a ‘hobby’ than a purely business venture he admits.

Shoppers are spending less in the North except in new coffee bars

Derry’s guildhall: the North’s unemployment rate of 6.5 per cent remains above the UK average rate of 5.6 per cent. Photograph: Gavan Donnelly

Union leaders worried about future of 140 roles at Maydown engineering plant

Greentown Environmental specialises in the treatment and eradication of invasive and potentially noxious weeds and currently treats 27,000km of footpaths. Photograph: Jack McManus

Award-winning entrepreneur John Ross Armstrong builds thriving weed-control business

A group of Strabane farmers turned up at their local Asda store and cleared all the milk supply off the shelves after the supermarket advertised its own brand milk at 45 pence per pint. Photograph: Getty Images

At current prices, many farmers are actually losing money on each litre of milk they sell

Belfast International Airport’s managing director said United’s decision was a positive development for the local economy. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Belfast International Airport director welcomes resumption of full-year service ‘lifeline’ for US firms

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise Jonathan Bell hailed Decora Blind Systems, which is creating 80 jobs in Antrim, as a “dynamic, innovative business”. Photograph: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons/PA

Family owned business currently employs 500 across sites in Lisburn and Birmingham

The Danske Bank study reveals that the lowest levels of consumer confidence were displayed in Carrickfergus and Antrim

New survey shows confidence has fallen right across North

The North’s Finance Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed the decision by Teleperformance to operate the Enniskillen contact centre. Photo: PA Wire

French owned Teleperformance to manage and operate Liberty Mutual’s contact centre

Minister for Enterprise Jonathan Bell says it is “vital”  the North has control over corporation tax. Photograph: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons/PA

Political leaders have let opportunity to grasp tax devolution slip further through their fingers

British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers feels deal is issue for NI Executive

Dairy cows in a row

Poor returns to farmers in ultra-competitive market leads Ballyrashane and Town of Monaghan to form LacPatrick

The ink is dry at last on the rumoured £8 million deal for Northern Ireland’s only five-star golf resort

Fermanagh-born businessman spent 10 years developing the property

 Frank Cushnahan was involved in a deal that helped to establish Belfast’s highly successful Titanic Quarter. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Former member of Nama advisory committee helped shape life in NI, for better or worse

Ian Coulter former managing partner at Tughans law firm in Belfast. Tughans has rejected claims by Mr Coulter concerning a bank account which contained £7.5 million.

Ian Coulter says he personally informed law firm about account which contained £7.5m

Former managing partner at Tughans Law Firm, Belfast Ian Coulter: Said the money which “has been called into question” – and which he said was actually £7.5 million – “was part of the total legal and consultancy fees”.

Belfast lawyer Ian Coulter: No politician in NI or relatives was ‘ever to receive any monies’

Tughans offices in Belfast city centre. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan/PhotopressBelfast.co.uk

HMRC says its team is expected to recover nearly £18 million in Northern Ireland

Frank Cushnahan: moved from one key private sector appointment to another across a wide spectrum of industries

Businessman is one of the figures at the heart of revelations around the sale of Nama portfolio in North

Business in Northern Ireland broadly welcome UK chancellor George Osborne’s budget.

Employers broadly positive on other aspects of fiscal plan

Demonstrators outside the House of Commons as UK chancellor George Osborne set out his plans to reshape the country’s economy with the first budget of the new Conservative government on Wednesday. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

Cost of block grant to be reduced by £300m annually, government estimates

Nama sold €5.6 billion worth of loans against northern Irish properties to Cerberus for €1.7 billion in June 2014. The US fund hired US lawyers Brown and Rudnick, along with  Northern Irish firm Tughans, as advisers. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Agency ‘very confident . . . we achieved the maximum value for the Irish taxpayer’

Mick Wallace TD outside Leinster House on Kildare Street, Dublin, July 7th, 2015. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

PSNI says no formal criminal inquiry under way in relation to Mick Wallace’s allegations

 Alban Maginness: says it is important that Northern Ireland’s integrity as a place to do business is not undermined by any further revelations from the sale of Nama’s loan portfolio

Alban Maginness calls for full disclosure about transaction process

Lanyon Plaza, one of the larger assets in the portfolio

Nama's activity in the North has been plagued by questions

The quality of higher education in Derry was a factor in the investment decision

OneSource Virtual plans a human resources outsourcing operation in its first European investment

The Brazilian Cisne Branco (white swan), one of the 50 tall ships taking part in the 2015 tall ships race, docked in Belfast harbour.  Photograph: PA

All of the ships will be berthed around Belfast Harbour and the Titanic Quarter

Europa Hotel in Belfast,

Growing confidence in Northern Ireland when it comes to tourism and hospitality sectors

Virgin said initial response to the Belfast-Orlando summer route had been very positive. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Airline plans to run route again in 2016 after strong demand for the service

NI enterprise minister Jonathan Bell

Minister calls for government and business to work together

NI Finance Minister  Arlene Foster.  Her first budget has cross-party support.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Business leaders warn that it has not solved all financial challenges

Metaverse Mod Squad provides services to major corporations, government and not-for-profit organisations to engage with people on a personal level across mobile, ecommerce, in game, applications and other social medial channels.

Metaverse Mod Squad has clients in more than 50 countries

Jonathan Bell, Northern Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, said the decision to expand its aerospace production facility represented a “step change” for the company

Investment backed by Invest NI with financial support worth £400,000

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness: political leaders are continuing to campaign to the UK Treasury for a reduction in air passenger taxes specifically from the North.

Improving connectivity seen as essential

Derry city. Choice Housing Association, which has been established following the merger of Trinity, Oaklee and Ulidia Housing Associations, currently has more than 10,000 homes on its books and a property portfolio valued at more than £700 million.

Investment programme of £340m to run over five years

Separate statistics also show there was a fall in the number of people claiming jobless-related benefits last month

Data reflects the challenges faced by region as youth unemployment remains a concern

Dr Norman Apsley  became chief executive of the Northern Ireland Science Park in 2000  and has helped shape the park into a thriving eco-system for start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker

The city’s Titanic Quarter is hosting MoneyConf and EnterConf for the first time

Almac Discovery, the Northern Ireland biopharmaceutical company, has agreed a drug development deal with Genentech which could be worth more than £225 million (€311 million).

Craigavon based company will initially receive an upfront payment of more than £9m

McGinnis Developments has re-financed its Cerberus controlled assets.

Original holding company will be able to participate in planned long-term development

Skunkworks Surfboard Company founders Ricky and Chris Martin have secured £100,000 in grants and established a surfboard manufacturing facility in Coleraine, Co Derry.

Chrish and Ricky Martin seek funding for Skunkworks Surfboard Company

Mayor of Antrim Clr Thomas Hogg; Alastair Hamilton, chief executive Invest NI; Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell and RLC director Sarah Holt at the RLC site in Newtownabbey.

Expansion part of £35m investment project

Sandra Corkin of Oasis Travel with Paul McMahon, president of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce

Sandra Corkin is founder and owner of Oasis Travel, one of the North’s largest independent travel agents

Michelle O’Neill: says her department’s  relocation will be “a catalyst for change and regeneration stimulating much-needed job opportunities, not just in Ballykelly but across the northwest”

There has been a cynical response to plans to move the Department of Agriculture to a former army barracks in Ballykelly

Cybersecurity firm Titan IC Systems also won financial support from existing investor QUBIS,  the Queen’s University Belfast’s start-up company

Investment from techstart NI and Co-FundNI will be used to grow international sales

Wrights Group chief executive Mark Nodder (left): “Having a presence on the ground in the territory and a bus range design specifically for the Indian market, will help sustain employment for the current workforce of 130 Wrightbus International employees based at group headquarters  in Northern Ireland.”

Move will help sustain employment for its workforce in Northern Ireland, says group

Under the terms of the Stormont House Agreement the devolution of corporation tax powers is inextricably linked to new welfare changes in the North. Photograph: Eric Luke

Business group Grow NI says delay in fixing corporation tax rates deterring investment

Royal County Down golf club. More than 80,000 golf fans will gathering to see some of the world’s top golfers compete. Photograph: INPHO/Presseye/Matt Mackey

New golf strategy in North aims to grow value of golf tourism to £50 million a year by 2020

Stephen McCully, vice-president of NI Chamber; John Haran, managing director of HMC Global and Kevin Kingston, president of NI Chamber at the launch of ‘Growing Something Brilliant: An Action Plan to Grow the Northern Ireland Economy’ in Belfast.

Northern Ireland Chamber publishes action plan to get economy moving

Hospitality Ulster was launched by First Minister  of Northern Peter Robinson.

Hospitality Ulster launched to represent pubs, hotels and restaurants

Harland and Wolff’s drawing offices: it is expected that up to 250 jobs could be generated during the conversion  75 once the hotel opens for business. Photograph: Peter MacDiarmid/Getty

Historic building to be converted into four-star boutique hotel in titanic makeover

Brian Ambrose, chief executive of Belfast City Airport. Photograph: PA

Local campaign group opposed to expansion plans on noise grounds

Chief executive of Argento Peter Boyle’s chain of jewellery stores stretches from Belfast’s main shopping district to  Dublin’s Grafton Street. Photograph: Eric Luke

Entrepreneur went from street trader to establishing a €24m-a-year jewellery firm

Brian Ambrose, chief executive of George Best Belfast City Airport: removal of the seat cap would allow airport to   “compete and actively pursue additional airlines”. Photograph: PA

Belfast City Airport wants to remove cap on seats it can sell

A record number of people from Northern Ireland chose to travel though Dublin Airport last year according to latest figures which show passenger numbers from the North soared to a high of 864,000.

Number of passengers from the North using Dublin airport to travel abroad rose by 52%

Bombardier is reducing its global workforce by 1,750 Photograph: Bloomberg

Canadian aerospace group cites economic and geopolitical conditions in plan for global cuts

The Parliament Buildings in the Stormont Estate in Belfast. The prosperity gap with the UK could be widening leading economists have warned. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA.

Number of unemployed rises by 6,000 in first quarter in contrast to UK fall

EventMAP, a Queen’s University Belfast spin out that has developed new technology to optimise timetabling and resource management within universities, is to create 10 jobs after securing £85,000 (€118,536) of financial support from Invest NI.

EventMAP, which optimises timetabling and resource management within universities, secures financial support of £85,000

Kingspan ESB has launched a scheme that will give customers an option to sign up to a roof top photovoltaic (PV) soalr energy product that the joint venture says will produce cheaper, renewable energy without the investment normally required for such a system.

Project says it could deliver £320m in savings

Prof Robert Bowman: “Our technology could be used in any analytical environment from medicine to food security to gas detection. It’s very exciting because we’ve got a unique product that we one day want to become a globally recognised product that has been made in Belfast.”

Causeway Sensors has developed pioneering technology using nano-structured surfaces

British prime minister David Cameron wants to ensure  the economic recovery “reaches all parts” of the UK. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

British prime minister to ‘stay true to his word’

Peter Robinson, leader of the DUP: it has declared itself to be a “low-tax party”. Photograph: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press

There is plenty of talk about economic growth, but not many ideas of how to fund it

Gráinne Hampton of McColgan’s with Stormont enterprise minister Arlene Foster.

New packing and dispatch facility to help grow Strabane-based family business

Conference should attract more than 1,200 delegates to Belfast

Potential economic benefits could be worth £1.3m, says minister

Sandara Kelso-Robb, strategic adviser of Giving Northern Ireland, and Dr Gareth McGrath, director of Politics Plus, greet Prof Angela Eikenberry, Fulbright scholar at the University of Birmingham, who gave a special lecture on the meaning and impact of philanthropy at Parliament Buildings as part of Philanthropy Fortnight. Photograph: Paul Moane / Aurora

More people want to work for organisations ‘where they can make an impact on causes they care about’

The Cast and Crew restaurant across from the Titanic Belfast centre marks the first restaurant development of its kind in the Titanic Quarter

Niall McKenna is to open two new restaurants and create 55 jobs

Prof Alastair Adair, Ulster University acting vice-chancellor, said the new campus will act as an important social and economic regenerator for the area

Surveyors report a decline in infrastructure workloads in North

The Titanic Belfast Experience: while recovery is under way, the business environment remains challenging and the outlook for long-term growth is far from confident, the survey found. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Rise in domestic orders and positive job plans cited in Quarterly Economic Survey

The  North’s Minister for Enterprise Arlene Foster: “Axiom is investing in a major expansion creating 97 new jobs, which will bring valuable skills to the important legal services sector here.”  Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Legal services firm to create positions as part of £9m investment

Three of the Four Tall Ships which Sailed into Dublin last year.  This year the race will travel to Belfast where it will be the largest event to be staged in the city to date. Photograph: Alan Betson /The Irish Times.

Largest event to be staged in the city to date and could attract 500,000 spectators

Queen’s spin-out launches ‘transformative’ product to protect networks from viruses

“There is no industry or business, large or small that is going to be left untouched by big data challenges”

Analytics Engines working on next generation of medical analytics technology

 Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Arlene Foster said lack of office development may be due to constraints on bank lending. Picture Conor McCabe.

Prime rents in Belfast went up 12% in 2014 – the largest UK increase outside the southeast of England – but little new office spa(...)

North’s enterprise minister Arlene Foster   said   the latest figures still portray “a more positive picture than a year ago”. Photograph: Eric Luke /Irish Times

Latest set of official data show total claimant count fell to 45,200

 Minister for Finance Simon Hamilton said: “The construction industry is vitally important to the economy in Northern Ireland, employing nearly 60,000 people.” Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Minister for Finance welcomes figures showing 6 per cent increase in new work

The North also has the highest price expectations for the next three months Photograph: Pacemaker

Industry body warns supply issues could push prices higher

Oscar Woolley is a little more discerning than most when it comes to his choice of tea

There are hopes Suki Tea will become next household favourite thanks to major deal

 Worcester Chamber of Commerce president Timothy Murray (left) with  Worcester chamber marketing executive Danielle Shabo and Adrian Bradley, chief executive  of i3 Digital

Tech company wins contract in Worcester, Massachusetts and in talks with business leaders in five other cities

There is a long  list of reasons why businesses fail nearly every day of the year, including choosing the wrong location. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Failing at business should not stop you from trying again

The North’s enterprise, trade and investment minister Arlene Foster and Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr Stephen Farry are pictured with Colm Tracey (R), Eishtec operational director

Invest NI-assisted investment driven by Waterford company’s contract with EE

The devolution of corporation tax powers to the North is tied to the implementationof welfare reforms Photograph: Pacemaker

PwC says economy performing poorly despite almost 24,000 new jobs

No redundancies have been announced following the deal which could see Lagan’s workforce swell to more than 900 people – making it one of the largest privately owned construction and civil firms North and South.

Deal will see Lagan’s workforce grow to more than 900

The telecoms giant is one of the largest local private sector employers with a direct workforce of more than 2,400 people

Telecoms group to take on 50 people at contact centre

EasyJet plans to increase the number of seats for sale on its Gatwick, London Luton and Stansted routes by more than 125,000.

Airline increases capacity on Belfast to London routes

The latest Entrepreneurs Index highlights that the proportion of high-growth companies in the North increased by 5.5 per cent in the 12 months to March 2014.

Northern Ireland was only region bar Scotland in the UK to show evidence of a rise

‘Game Of Thrones’ is attracting “location tourists” who want to experience exactly where the show is filmed and walk in the footsteps of their favourite characters

‘Game of Thrones’ continues to boost the tourism industry in North

Research published by Danske Bank today shows it has marginally revised economic growth forecasts up to 2.2 per cent from 2.1 per cent for both 2015 and 2016. Photo: Bloomberg

Bank says faster growth in household incomes will drive up expenditure and confidence

Dunbia, the Tyrone headquartered food company, which specialises in beef, pork and lamb products, is to invest £27 million in Northern Ireland and create an additional 209 jobs in Dungannon.

Tyrone-headquarted meat specialist to invest £27 million in new processing plant

The bitter taste of a weak euro cannot be ignored by businesses or retailers in the North

The price of a chocolate egg in a Border town or city illustrates why a weak euro cannot be ignored in the North

British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne holds his ministerial red box up to the media as he leaves 11 Downing Street on Wednesday. The chancellor was presenting his fifth budget to MPs, the last before the general election on May 7th. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Extra funding to support “business and hardworking people”

The K Club. The MJM Group has developed a global reputation as an expert fit-out and refurbishment specialist for cruise liners and luxury hotels such as the K Club

Newry joiner has been major exhibitor at cruise shipping conference taking place in Miami

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness speaks to the media during a press conference at Stormont  over the issue of welfare reform. Sinn Fein has blocked a welfare reform bill, after accusing the Democratic Unionist Party of acting in bad faith.Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Impasse threatens ability of North’s political leaders to sell business message on St Patrick’s Day visits to US

Northern Ireland Secretary of Sate, Theresa Villiers, announcing the new Corporation Tax Bill in January. Business leaders warn that the political crisis over welfare reform should not be allowed to threaten the bill.

Business leaders warn against letting latest crisis over welfar reform jeporadise plans to devolve corporation tax

Queen’s University Belfast: Chris Caldwell believes Northern Ireland needs to direct more investment into the education system to produce graduates with the right types of skills for industry and business.

Cutting budget of North’s Department of Employment would be a mistake

UK trade association says construction SMEs are suffering blanket discrimination

The Belfast call centre specialised in providing outbound calling services, targeting potential customers for the company’s RIAS and Castle Cover brands.

Employees say they had no advance warning of Ageas Retail move

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers. An Assembly committee has said that Northern Ireland credit unions and mutual societies should benefit from  any new lower rates of corporation tax.  File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Assembly committee concerned financial services sector won’t profit from lower rates

Every passenger that departs from a UK airport must pay Air Passenger Duty (APD) although rates vary depending on the destination and ticket class, most people currently pay £13 on the price of a short-haul ticket.

Shortfall in income would have to be made up by public finances

David Dobbin: “The sheer scale and breadth of the harbour’s business means that it plays a critical role in the economy in terms of being a major economic driver.”

Sale of lucrative real estate an option for Northern Executive

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