Ministers to mull how to boost bank finance to NI business
Villiers to say government committed to help rebalance economy towards private sector
Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers is expected to tell the Conservatives’ annual conference that the government is committed to helping rebalance the region’s economy in favour of the private sector. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A group of Whitehall ministers is to consider how to boost the amount of bank finance flowing to Northern Ireland businesses.
Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers is expected to tell the Conservatives’ annual conference that the government is committed to helping rebalance the region’s economy in favour of the private sector.
She will say: “Working with the Executive, we’re determined to strengthen the private sector and rebalance the economy ... and deliver the kind of change for which the Northern Ireland Conservatives have campaigned so strongly over recent years.”
In June the government unveiled a new package of measures designed to help Northern Ireland compete in the global race for investment and jobs.
Ms Villiers will say this boost includes not just spending public money but using imaginative measures to boost business and enterprise.
“So the government’s highly successful Start Up loans scheme has been extended to Northern Ireland, with the first loans going out to young entrepreneurs there within weeks of the package being signed at Downing Street,” she will add.
“But talking to businesses in Northern Ireland, I know just how difficult it still is for them to get the bank finance they need.
“So as part of the package I am setting up a new cross-Whitehall ministerial taskforce to make sure that we do all we can to ensure that vital finance gets through to businessmen and women in Northern Ireland.
“Because it’s by backing their efforts ... people who just want to work hard and do the right thing ... that we’ll deliver the boost to the private sector that we all want to see in Northern Ireland.”