Granville firm one of the top earners on Invest NI funding league table

Granville Ecopark Ltd, which was one of the top ten companies to receive Invest NI funding. Photo from company website
Granville Ecopark Ltd, which was one of the top ten companies to receive Invest NI funding. Photo from company website

Invest NI, the government business support agency, spent more than twice per head of population helping enterprise in the former Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council area than it did in the Omagh Council area, a new report has revealed.

In-depth statistics have been published by online news agency, The Detail.Tv, which show that businesses in Dungannon and South Tyrone enjoyed the sixth highest spend by Invest NI - a whopping £13,757,286 in funding - out of all the 26 now defunct individual councils.

Per head of population in the Dungannon area, Invest NI spent £228.97, compared to £240.37 in Cookstown, where the overall spend during a three year period was less at £9,102,991.

The Magherafelt Council area, meanwhile, saw a substantially lower spend per capita than either Cookstown or Dungannon, at £171.51.

Invest NI spent a total of £7,937,469 in the period from 2011 to September last year.

The amount of money provided to supporting businesses in the three Mid Ulster District Council areas, also differs sharply from the amount handed over to businesses in the Craigavon Council area, which received £25,664,707 in funding from the government agency.

Not surprisingly, the Almac pharmaceutical group, based in Craigavon but with operations in the US and China, occupies two places in the top ten companies to have benefitted from Invest NI funding.

The firm, set up by Cookstown entrepreneur, the late Sir Alan Clay, will use the funding evaluate the clinical performance of the first novel cancer drug fully developed in Northern Ireland, among other projects within the worldwide pharmaceutical industry.

However, Dungannon also featured on the top ten list of funding recipients thanks to the £3.7 million awarded to Granville Ecopark Ltd.

That funding was awarded in 2012 for the creation of 12 jobs, according to The Detail.Tv investigation.

Granville Ecopark Ltd spent a total of £2.80 for every £1 it received from Invest NI, the report also found.

The company which received the biggest share of Invest NI funding over the three year period in question, was NI Screen Commission, based in Belfast.

That organisation, which has attracted HBO’s hugely successful Game of Thrones among many others, received £64 million in funding.

The council area which received the lowest spend per head of population, meanwhile, was Ards, which saw a paltry £33.24 spent by Invest NI, although in total that area received £2,623,780 from the government support organisation.

The Belfast area enjoyed a per capita spend of £452.59.