US Invest in Ulster

Niki Young
Tuesday 15 Apr 2008

Peace-time landmark investment in Northern Ireland will aid redevelopment

Following last year’s peace accords in Northern Ireland, America is to invest $150 million in the country adding to already mammoth redevelopments. The agreement comes after a long-running refusal to invest during the ‘Troubles’.

American investment in Northern Ireland had been halted when Martin McGuinness, current deputy first minister and Sinn Fein MP, discouraged his American supporters because of rivalry with Ian Paisley, current first minister in the coalition executive. But the two have shown a united front in their work to secure the investment from the New York Pension Fund.

The monumental investment is a step-up in the fast development of Northern Ireland since the Troubles ended. Last month the capital city, Belfast, saw the opening of the country’s biggest ever development, the 800,000 square foot Victoria Square, by the first minister and his deputy. The multi-use development cost £400 million and has changed the landscape of Belfast with its central glass dome encasing the public square.

The recent investment by America is said by Mike Smyth, economics lecturer at the University of Ulster, to be a “vote of confidence” in Northern Ireland’s economic developments and to go a long way to aid the expanding construction market in the country.

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