Economist identifies growth potential in Larne tourism

Angela McGowan (left), Chief Economist with the Northern Bank, pictured with Craig McDowell of YNot?, Ledcom Chief Executive Ken Nelson, Traders Forum Chairman Martin Wilson, Deputy Mayor Mark McKinty and Councillor Maureen Morrow. INLT 41-336-PR
Angela McGowan (left), Chief Economist with the Northern Bank, pictured with Craig McDowell of YNot?, Ledcom Chief Executive Ken Nelson, Traders Forum Chairman Martin Wilson, Deputy Mayor Mark McKinty and Councillor Maureen Morrow. INLT 41-336-PR

The first event of the new season of the Larne Vital Business Seminar series got off to a flying start when economist Angela McGowan addressed a large audience of local businesses in LEDCOM’s Willowbank Rural Conference Centre.

Angela McGowan, Northern Bank chief economist, gave an overview of the Northern Ireland economy and the likely impact and consequences of current trends for local businesses.

As a regular contributor to the media on a wide range of economic issues, Angela was able to bring a unique perspective to Larne’s economic challenges and opportunities.

She noted that the borough of Larne has 1,135 small firms with under 50 employees and 10 companies with over 250 employees. While Larne’s unemployment level has been consistently below the NI average, the impact of the FG Wilson/Caterpillar job cuts has not yet been seen in the figures.

The Northern Bank economist identified opportunities for Larne in areas such as tourism and encouraging more knowledge-based companies.

She highlighted the importance of LEDCOM’s work in developing a culture of enterprise and supporting small businesses.

Globally trends in emerging markets and growing population such as the demand for food, health, water and energy require new thinking and solutions.

“This very well attended seminar was a superb business networking opportunity for local businesses. We had an excellent speaker in Angela McGowan and she has given everyone much food for thought”, said Councillor Martin Wilson, chairman of Larne Development Forum.

The Vital business seminars are run by Larne Development Forum, the economic development partnership of Larne Borough Council, and are open to any business in the Larne Borough. The seminars are offered free of charge to businesses due to the financial support of Larne Borough Council.

Seminars will run monthly from October 2012 to July 2013 covering topics such as exporting, legal issues, sales and marketing, pensions and investments for the self-employed, tax allowances and effective use of social media.