Dungannon Invest NI funding under the microscope

Invest NI has poured £13,757,286 into Dungannon businesses over the last three and a half years, the second highest amount per head of capita West of the Bann.

Cookstown came top of the list beating much larger urban centres such as Derry and Newry.

Research into the figures provided by Invest NI has raised questions over the level of job creation. It has illustrated a stark east/west split in Invest NI funding across Northern Ireland, and suggested that Invest NI may fall short of commitments to support deprived communities.

Overall, the greatest amount of money was invested in Belfast businesses, working out at £453 per capita, compared to Dungannon’s £229 per capita, and Derry’s paltry £105.

Invest NI defended its record and said: “We principally support those businesses that can make the greatest contribution to growing our economy.”

Businesses in the east of Northern Ireland received 81% of funding, compared to 19% in the west.

A total of 71% of projects that received funding had no specific job creation targets. However, Invest NI said that job creation was only one condition potentially applied to funding, with others including research and development, skills development, or innovation which could also ultimately create jobs.