Derry trails seven other areas when it comes to potential for economic recovery according to new research

New research from savings platform Raisin UK has revealed which parts of Northern Ireland have the strongest local economies and are likely to recover the fastest from Covid-19 - and Derry doesn’t make the top five.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 5:27 pm
Hundreds of shoppers queue outside Primark on Friday morning as non-essential retails outlets reopen. Photo: George Sweeney / Derry Journal. DER2117GS – 014

So where do they all rank and who is seeing business booming?

The report was based upon factors such as: Number of large businesses; Business survival rate; Net growth of birth and death rates; Rate of people in employment; Amount of people receiving Income Support; Average government spend per head; and CPI Index.

The strongest and weakest economies were initially calculated throughout England and then Northern Ireland looking at where the economic recovery may be easier and which ones may be harder to recover from.

Raisin UK co-founder, Kevin Mountford, explained: “The findings from the study came as the Northern Ireland prepares to open up from lockdown restrictions once more. For many businesses and individuals, this has been one of the hardest financial periods of their lives - but it’s encouraging to look at these stats as an indication of how local towns and economies can bounce back economically from the pandemic. Whilst it’s encouraging to see places such as Belfast make the list, it’s really encouraging to see more regional economies such as Newry and Mourne prepared to weather the economic storm that Covid-19 instigated.”

According to the research, Northern Ireland’s top local economies are:

#1 Newry and Mourne

Newry and Mourne is home to the Buttercrane Shopping Centre. With a 48.6% five-year business survival rate, data showed that there were 640 large businesses here in 2015, and fast forward four years to 2019, there were 725 large businesses, a 13.28% increase. 4.7% of residents here are claiming welfare support, but 70.9% of the city and surrounding areas are employed. Newry and Mourne rank #1 for Northern Irish local economies, and are expected to bounce back from Covid-19 pretty quickly.

#2 Lisburn

Coming second in Northern Ireland’s strongest economies is Lisburn. The city sits on the River Lagan, which forms County Antrim and County Down. Here a five-year survival business rate stands at 48.3%, just 0.3% lower than Newry and Mourne. In 2015, there were 525 businesses here, and 570 in 2019 - a good 8.57% increase. Only 3.4% of residents in Lisburn are claiming welfare, but 70.9% are currently in employment.

#3 Armagh

Placing third comes County Armagh. Like Newry and Mourne, Armagh has a 48.6% business survival rate. In 2015, Armagh was home to 700 businesses, but fast forward four years to 2019, Armagh had grown its businesses to 740 - a 5.71% increase. 4.2% of the county are claiming welfare here, but most of the city is employed and it’s mostly famous for its apple orchards.

#4 Ards

Placing fourth is Ards, a district situated in the northeast of the province. There is a 48.3% 5-year business survival rate here. In 2015 there were 455 large businesses that called Ards home, but in 2019 those large businesses grew 7.69%, taking the total up to 490 businesses. 4.4% of residents living in Ards are claiming welfare, but 70.9% of the city are employed.

#5 Antrim

Ranking fifth is Antrim. Antrim has a 47.8% 5-year survival rate. With 450 large businesses in 2015, a four-year increase only came to 5.56%, but as of 2019, Antrim had 475 large businesses. Only 4% of Antrim are claiming welfare.

#6 Fermanagh

Fermanagh ranks sixth. There is a 38.9% five-year survival rate with businesses here, which is slightly lower than all the other cities. With 415 large businesses in 2015, this jumped by 10.84% in four years to 460 large businesses. 3.8% of residents in Fermanagh are claiming benefits. Companies that are based hereinclude footwear store Schuh and Touch Bionics

#7 Belfast

Home to Queen’s University Belfast, Danske Bank and Kingsbridge Healthcare Group, Belfast has a 41.3% 5-year survival rate when it comes to large businesses. In 2015, it was found that the capital had 1,740 large businesses, but a four-year gap to 2019 had a 6.90% increase in large businesses to 1,860. 6.1% of Belfast people are claiming welfare.

#8 Derry

Derry ranks eighth. With a 42% 5-year survival rate, there were 480 large businesses in 2015, but over four years that has increased by 10.42% to 530 in 2019. 6.6% of residents from Derry, claim benefits.

For the full study go to: