“I am proud to say that we have met our business plan objectives..”

It’s probably true that the annoucement of “the investment of more than half a billion pounds in Bombardier Shorts will help secure the Belfast plant’s long-term future” as Bernie Hamilton, of the union Unite, is reported to have said. But along with the headline figures there are some details worth considering from the RTÉ report – “Between loans and grants, the British government is putting up £150m.” Or, as the BBC report, “The government has also agreed to provide £52m to the project at Bombardier’s east Belfast plant as part of a wider £155m government investment package in the Canadian firm.” Best to go to the source for further clarification on those figures.

Bombardier has received and accepted offers of repayable investments from the governments of Canada and Québec as well as Northern Ireland and British Government Departments. The total repayable investments will cover approximately one-third of the expected R&D costs. Bombardier will also contribute about one-third, as will key suppliers.

And, whilst Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward can say, “The decision by Bombardier is a huge vote of confidence in devolution”, and NI First Minister Peter Robinson can claim that, “I just know, without giving away too many of the commercial issues involved, that this simply would not have happened if there had not been devolved institutions in Northern Ireland”, or deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, “The investment will also see the development of state-of-the-art technology as well as developing the manufacturing and engineering skills of our workforce that will benefit our economy for years to come.” Bombardier have never let local politics interfere with global commercial decisions. From that same BBC report.

Announcing the investment on the eve of the Farnborough air show, Bombardier said greener fuel-efficient technology used in the C-Series would “revolutionise” the 100 to 149 seater market. The long-running project was dropped two years ago, but the Canadian aerospace firm resurrected it last year amid rising fuel costs globally.

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  • slug

    Excellent news for the local economy.

  • LURIG

    What’s the religious breakdown of Shorts Bombardier again?……….just interested, HONESTLY.

  • percy

    peteb
    if you carry on with these good news stories, it might catch on 😉

  • frustrated democrat

    God help us! Give us £150 million or we will take our ball and 800 jobs away only the government would buy into that one.

    Give me £150 million and I could create more than 800 NEW jobs in Northern Ireland.

    Don’t get me wrong I love to see investment here but this is plainly madness in my view when it could have been spent on NEW jobs and skills.

  • ulsterfan

    frustrated democrat

    You make an interesting point.
    What are the new jobs you have in mind which are indeed new and require new skills.

  • LURIG,

    What’s the religious breakdown of Shorts Bombardier again?……….just interested, HONESTLY.

    In 2006 (latest figures I know):

    Short Brothers PLC, employees –
    Protestant: 4,394 [84.9%]
    Catholic: 779 [15.1%]
    Not declared: 189
    Total: 5,362

    Source: http://www.equalityni.org/archive/pdf/MonitoringReportNo17.pdf (page 147, but the rest is interesting too)

    Given the location of Shorts in East Belfast, the figures are probably representative of the area around the company. However, given the size of the workforce, I guess they come from fairly far and wide, so maybe Shorts should be aiming for a balance closer to that of the Belfast travel-to-work area

  • The Raven

    Lurig, would you be willing to make a comment about this? Would you care to share an insight into the religious breakdown you’ve been given?

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s more disturbing that Lurig thinks that religious breakdown is important in the first place. Personally, I don’t give a damn, but that’s just me.

  • frustrated democrat

    I already run a company and if I had £150m I could bring a lot more than 800 jobs to NI from my contacts in the US. Remember it is almost £200,000 per job or £20,000 per job per year over 10 years how could anyone fail.

  • frustrated democrat,

    … it is almost £200,000 per job or £20,000 per job per year over 10 years …

    In which case anyone, even without a company could ‘create’ even more jobs. If I pay each ‘worker’ 15K a year (ignoring social security contributions, as you did), I could create 1000 jobs. Beat that! Well, of course you could, by paying 14K or 12K.

    Bought jobs aren’t real jobs, as I suspect you were also saying. The money would be better spent on education and improvements in infrastructure (or, I whisper, reducing corporation tax).

  • frustrated democrat

    I’m sorry to say InvestNI have already got their minister under control and being allowed to be profligate with the taxpayers money. They spend about £40 million to give away about £120m, this is an organisation that spends money like there is no tomorrow. The ‘Go for it’ campaign exactly how many millions were invested in it and what did it acutally achieve in terms of real jobs? – any MLA’s want to ask that question of the minister? The answer, I suspect, will let us see the incompetence of this organisation.