Just three per cent of businesses are registered in NI’s second city…

The Londonderry Sentinel has some fascinating figures released by the DFP minister Sammy Wilson:

New figures detailing the number of registered businesses in each constituency show there were only 2,205 in Londonderry in January.

Only West Belfast (1,430) and North Belfast (2,185) had fewer whilst East Londonderry (3,900) and West Tyrone (5,095) had roughly twice as many as the Foyle constituency.

And it notes:

It follows the revelation in March that over 800 business premises in Londonderry lie desolate.

There are 13 empty factories, 270 empty warehouses and stores and 167 empty shops in Londonderry at present, according to the Finance Minister Sammy Wilson. A total of 817 unoccupied non-domestic properties were vacant here at March 18. This was up from 787 two years ago.


  • Possible explanations for W Belfast

    1 Multimillion black economy fails to register officially but in reality average per capita income of £50k* makes W Belfast the wealthiest place to live in NI. * An average figure, and as an average suggests, some may have more than others.

    2 Dual currency area . Strength of the industrial pound, against a weaker pound . Industrial dollars and industrial euros also accepted.

    3 Not enough Prods.

    4 Resistance to higher levels of corporation tax sub unconsciously realised by local entrepreneurs not becoming incorporated.

    5 Twenty years of Gerry Adams i.e. Lack of local leadership, vision and strategy.

  • Mick Fealty

    Okay, but in there is the fact that it doesn’t have much share in the central business district. Derry/Londonderry does.

  • Barnshee

    A difficult compare without formal; analysis (The data is derived from the VAT register and Companies House Regs)

    For example Rural areas have lots of smallish farms hardly harbingers of big business however valuable they may be but pushing up the “number of business” count Sales Turnover levels for the areas would be a better bet.

    Derry has got the Donegal factor to cope with — business activity can slip over the border whre it makes economic sense to do so.

    Other areas may have such a poor reputation -deserved or otherwise- that they are simply avoided as too risky.

  • Could of course be lots of offshore companies.

  • Old Mortality

    I can remember a few years ago someone who was involved in economic development for Derry City council writing that the city lacked “an entrepreneurial culture”.
    Clearly things have not improved. On the other hand, dependency culture flourishes there. Could anyone point to another city in the British Isles or continental Europe where the population has expanded so rapidly in spite of consistently high unemployment. Most have seen their populations decline.
    The question is: has the absence of an entrepreneurial culture created dependency culture or has dependency culture undermined entrepreneurial culture?