Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI Host NI Economy Reception at Westminster

Glyn Roberts, CEO of Retail NI, Owen Smith MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Nigel Dodds MP (Deputy leader of DUP) and Colin Neill, CEO of Hospitality Ulster attending NI Economy event

Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI Host NI Economy Reception at Westminster

09 November 2017

Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI have hosted a Northern Ireland Economy-themed reception at Westminster, which was addressed by the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Smith MP and attended by over fifty MPs, Lords and business leaders from Northern Ireland.

Both organisations urged MPs and Peers to support the creation of an enabling taxation and regulatory environment to stimulate growth in the Northern Ireland economy. Calling for them to back the City Deals for Belfast and Derry/Londonderry and both cities’ bids for the title of European City of Culture.

The Chief Executives of Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI Colin Neill and Glyn Roberts said:

“This reception is all about selling and promoting Northern Ireland plc. and despite the political situation, the fantastic potential of our economy”

‘Both our organisation represent two of Northern Ireland’s largest sectors and we have a shared aim of making Northern Ireland the very best place in these islands to locate and start a business and to shop and socialise”

“We want to see radical changes to Hospitality / Tourism VAT and Business Rates, investment in our infrastructure, particularly in our rural towns, and world class skills and training to secure the future of our economy”

“Our preference will always be for local devolved Ministers to take these key decisions and we repeat our call for the local political parties to secure agreement and restore the Executive”

“We also need to change the conversation on Brexit - instead of focusing on the problems let’s focus on the solutions that will stimulate economic growth in Northern Ireland. A hard border on the island of Ireland, or one across the Irish Sea needs to be avoided”

‘Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster are strong supporters for Belfast and Derry to get City Deals and to secure the title of European City of Culture. To secure both of these would be a game changer, not just for our two main cities, but also potentially for our wider NI economy”

“Previous experience shows that securing the European Capital of Culture title can act as a catalyst to supporting the social, cultural, economic and physical regeneration of the wider region”

“City Deals for our two main cities is an opportunity to develop longer term spending and delivery plans which share local, regional and government resources in an innovative way to maximise economic and social impact. It would form a key part in ensuring the region develops economic resilience to face the current and future challenges and opportunities, including Brexit.