Economic Strategy consultation resources

24 Jan 2012     Last updated: 20 Jun 2014

NICVA's Centre for Economic Empowerment held a consultation event on the draft Northern Ireland Economic Strategy on 23 January 2012 in Belfast. David Sterling, DETI Permanent Secretary addressed the event, together with representatives from the social

David Sterling outlined the Executive’s focus on the immediate job of rebuilding our economy in response to the economic downturn and the longer term vision of rebalancing our economy by creating an export led globally competitive regional economy by 2030.

Lisa McElherron, NICVA’s Head of Public Affairs, outlined NICVA’s initial thinking on the draft strategy, welcoming the commitment to use the potential wealth and prosperity being sought to help reduce poverty, promote equality and tackle existing patterns of disadvantage and division. However, concerns were also outlined that the model being pursued does not have enough direct actions to reduce inequality and poverty and does not take enough cognisance of the debate surrounding the nature of the economy, which has emerged as a response to the financial crisis.

Audrey Murray from the Larne Enterprise Development Company gave a SWOT analysis of the strategy with regards the social economy. Seamus O’Prey Chief Executive of Ortrus, whilst welcoming much of the content of the document with regards the social economy, outlined his concern that social enterprises cannot be seen as a replacement funder for the voluntary and community sector as a whole. He also outlined his belief that social enterprises must be given parity with mainstream businesses with regards to support and access to finance.

Joanne Stuart, Director of Attrus, gave a business perspective of the strategy focusing on the importance of research and development and innovation in business growth and job creation.

Seamus McAleavey, NICVA Chief Executive, chaired the event and outlined the importance of the voluntary and community sector engaging with the draft economic strategy. Stating that the health and nature of the economy will greatly affect the outlook of many of the most vulnerable people in society and  the economic strategy  will shape what type of economy we are building.

Supporting Information


With this in mind this page will publish useful information to help organisations compile their responses.

Included so far are the draft economic strategy and accompanied action plan; a briefing note of the strategy; presentations made by David Sterling, Lisa McElherron, Audrey Murray and Joanne Stuart; NICVA’s Policy Manifesto; and the economic strategies for Scotland and Wales.

The Executive has published the draft Economic Strategy in conjunction with the Programme for Government and the Investment Strategy. Please see a link to NICVA’s consultation page for the Programme for Government and a direct link to the draft Investment Strategy


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