The Councilís role in business development is to facilitate and support the economic prosperity of the Banbridge District Council area. Banbridge District Council makes its decisions concerning policy and work programmes based on a solid body of evidence backed up by extensive business and economic research.
By allocating some of its District Rates income, the Council is able to leverage further amounts of public funding from other sources such as central government, the European Union and the International Fund for Ireland (IFI). It is through a combination of such funding mechanisms that finance is raised and then invested in a variety of schemes and initiatives which will assist economic development throughout the District.
South East Economic Development (SEED) Consortium
SEED is comprised of the seven local authorities of Ards, Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Down, Newry & Mourne and North Down formed for the purpose of collaborating in projects that address common local economic development needs, which could be more effectively met on a sub-regional basis.
For the period 2001-2007, the SEED group worked jointly on areas which covered six strategic themes, with each of the SEED partners taking the lead responsibility for one of the resulting Programmes on behalf of their fellow SEED partners. Banbridge District Council was responsible for the delivery of the Enterprise Awareness Programme which has been a regional initiative aimed at promoting a spirit of entrepreneurship, identifying and accessing potential entrepreneurs and through business mentoring, bringing individuals to a point where they would be ready to participate in a mainstream programme like NI Business Start Programme (NIBSP). This programme complemented the Invest NI Business Birth Rate objective of promoting a more enterprising culture in NI so as to raise the overall level and quality of business starts. Increasing the number of business starts across the SEED area is critical to the future development and economic sustainability of the region.
Looking to the future, SEED has been working on the preparation of SEED Economic Development Strategy, which will be used as a basis for submission of applications to the EU Competitiveness and Employment Programme 2008-2013 which will focus on more sub-regional and cross-border working, a greater involvement of the private sector and place a special emphasis on creating long term advantage by focusing on the knowledge economy.