The Northern Ireland economy is one the smallest in the UK and Europe and relies heavily on support and grants from the government. Its economy generates £27 billion per year while, by way of comparison, the UK economy creates £2.3 trillion.
As such a small part of the UK, the size of industries is much smaller in Northern Ireland. Many of the country’s industries are located in larger cities like Belfast and Derry, the two biggest in the country, but what does the landscape look like in Armagh? The Orchard County is Northern Ireland’s smallest county so let’s look at what industries contribute to its economy.
Although less popular than south of the border, Northern Ireland attracts gambling companies who want to grow in the country. These companies offer products to those who want to gamble, whether that be on slots, bingo or live casino games.
An example of one company is MrQ, which has recently established a presence in Armagh offering slots on mobile. Players can choose from hundreds of slot games on tablets or smartphone devices while with an expanding offering, gamers can play new releases each week. Casinos, bookmakers and bingo are popular already in Armagh but with the development of online gambling, the industry is sure to develop even further adding more revenue to the local economy.
Manufacturing accounts for over 10% of employment in Northern Ireland, according to Invest Northern Ireland. Of course, the most famous example of manufacturing in the history of the country is the Harland and Wolff shipyard which was founded in 1861. It was here that the Titanic was built, and the shipyard is still in use today.
— Titanic Belfast (@TitanicBelfast) September 14, 2015
However, further west in Armagh, Ferguson’s Irish Linen company has made a name for itself in the textile industry. It now produces linen products that are distributed around the world. Radius Plastics, located in Lurgan, has applied for planning for a multi-million-pound development which could add more jobs to the local economy.
This long history in manufacturing has now attracted international companies to both the county and the country, including companies working in the technical industries. The aerospace and defence industry, as well as renewable energy, have seen much development in the country in the past few years.
Around 75% of Northern Ireland landscape is farmed in one way or another, according to the Royal Society of Protection of Birds. The industry creates thousands of jobs in the country, 3% of the total workforce, and contributes around £2.5 billion to the economy.
Armagh contributes its fair share to this and accounts for nearly £400 million of this figure. 13% of the country’s farms are located in the county standing at close to 4,000. Dairy farming is the largest part of the agriculture industry in the country, and this is the same in Armagh with cattle farming the second biggest.
Armagh may still rely heavily on the primary and secondary industries but as the county develops this could change. Technology will play an important role in its future and as international companies move to Northern Ireland, Armagh will surely see the benefit in the coming in the coming years.