Ireland North-West Progress Development Info

slieve-league ireland north west

The region offers a young, well-educated, skilled labour force backed by excellent communications and pro-business government agencies. Companies investing here have direct access to the European Union, the second largest market in the world. Investors can also avail of one of Europe’s most attractive incentive packages.

Continued investment…
Ireland’s economy is amongst the most dynamic in the world and manufacturing productivity is higher than both the UK and US.

In addition, labour and operating costs are amongst the lowest in the EU and 30% below US levels.

International companies continue to invest. Almost 75% of multinational companies operating in Ireland North West have plans for further investment.

And investment pays…
A recent survey into inward investment throughout the British Isles found that overseas companies, which had invested in Ireland, were more satisfied with their chosen locations than businesses that had invested in any other region.

Overseas investors ranked low operating costs and excellent communications as a significant inducement to further investment.

That’s Ireland. Unmatched quality, unmatched value. But Ireland North West is a region that has all this and more.

Ireland North West offers all the advantages of Ireland and features:

a highly educated, IT literate workforce;
one of the best labour relations records in the developed world;
excellent supply of graduates in disciplines such as biotechnology and information technology;
exceptional university/business links in a high quality research environment;
some of the lowest staff turnover rates in the EU;
a world-leading, digital telecommunications infrastructure;
highly competitive operating costs.

Land for development is plentiful and there is a good supply of reasonably priced office and factory premises, with rental costs about one third of those in Dublin or Belfast.

Businesses located here benefit from a sophisticated infrastructure. Londonderry Port offers modern shipping facilities and there are direct air links to UK and mainland Europe from the City of Derry Airport, and Donegal Airport.

The pace of business is global, but the pace of leisure could only be found in Ireland. Miles of beaches, stunning scenery, world class golf courses and unparalleled hospitality make Ireland North West the ideal location for businesses looking for a competitive advantage in the booming markets of Ireland, the UK and Europe.

“Infrastructural investment in excess of 1 billion dollars since 1990 and the success enjoyed by a range of prestige international companies, has made the North West an ideal location for a bridgehead into the European market”



The population of the North West is increasing rapidly from its 1996 base of 302,000. The Derry City Council area experienced a 16.2% increase between 1981 and 1996. This rate of growth is twice the Northern Ireland average.

The North West has a large working age population and there is a high instance of available labour. A significant characteristic of the population structure is the high percentage of young people. This is an indication of future labour force growth and prevailing labour market entry.

The region has a wide sectoral employment mix with a higher than average dependence on core manufacturing businesses.

The region’s labour force has an excellent record of productivity, and verification of the flexibility and co-operation of employees is reflected in industrial relations profiles.

“Off shore investors have been forced to look to the regions for labour availability – the North West is ideally placed to respond”



The North West has a skilled and well educated work force. There is a number of excellent training and education resources in the area. These include Letterkenny Institute of Technology, North West Institute of Further and Higher Education and campuses for University of Ulster, and Queen’s University. Both universities have internationally recognised research centres in areas such as bio-technology, electronics and information technology with over 2000 graduates. The University of Ulster at Magee College has the largest IT faculty in the UK and Ireland with a Technology and Software Incubation Centre.

North West Institute of Further and Higher Education is the largest and most comprehensive provider of education and training in the North West. It has successfully pioneered developments in electronics, computing and business studies some of which have been adoped by universities and colleges across the EU and in the US.

NWIFHE is a development centre for the University for Industry and has an established record in providing customised training solutions to industry.

The Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) specialises in Business, Science, Engineering and Computing and through its Business Development and Innovation Centres has close working relationships with private sector industries.

There are over 15,000 students enrolled in further education colleges, these include;

North West Sligo Institute of Technology

North-West Institute of Further and Higher Education (Derry and Strabane Campuses)
Limavady College of Further and Higher Education
Letterkenny Institute of Technology

There is close alignment between third level education and industry in relation to R&D;, training needs and customised courses.

“The North West Institute has developed specific courses aimed at emerging ICT industries in the region.


The North West has a well developed network of facilities provided by both private and public bodies:

Low cost and plentiful water
One of the best fibre optic telecommunications infrastructure in the world which enables high quality links world-wide.

The North West is serviced by an excellent transportation infrastructure offering rapid access throughout the EU market.

Air: City of Derry Airport lies in the heart of the North West Area. Scheduled flights include London, Belfast, Glasgow and Manchester. Donegal Airport offers scheduled services to Glasgow and Dublin.

Rail: Derry is serviced by a direct rail link to Belfast and through to Dublin.

Port: The port at Lisahally Docks is the UK’s most westerly port and it is readily accessible to all areas within the North West region. There is capacity for 30,000 ton vessels and there was a recent $33 million deep water port development.

Tourism and Quality of Life

Over 1.5 million tourists to the North West region in 1997/98 vindicate the attractiveness of the diverse landscape and cultural heritage resources of the region.
The North West offers an excellent variety of pubs, clubs and restaurants.
The region is serviced by a range of both local and international hotels with golf and conference facilities.
The area is well provided for in terms of health provision with 2 major acute hospitals in Derry (Altnagelvin Area Hospital and Letterkenny Regional Hospital).
The property market is very competitive in the North West. Average house prices in the area compare favourably with the rest of the country and the UK.

“The North West offers the buzz of city life or access to the peace and quiet of the country. With attractive property rates and a lower than average cost of living, the standard and quality of life here is unparalleled”