Speaking during an adjournment debate in the Assembly on Tuesday, Stewart Dickson MLA said: “East Antrim is a constituency of contrast. A constituency, of world-leading industry such as Caterpillar and Ryobi. A constituency of learning and skills development, with an exceptional university and other further education colleges. It is also a constituency of beautiful coastline, unique and rich history accompanied by tourism and traditional industries. East Antrim has so much to offer in infrastructure, skills and knowledge, and we must all work tirelessly to market East Antrim PLC to the world.
“Tourism presents one of the biggest opportunities for East Antrim in terms of jobs. Attractions such as Carrickfergus Castle, the Gobbins path and the Glens themselves are exceptional assets. I have been lobbying the Enterprise Minister to ensure that they are developed and marketed to their full potential.
“A reduction in the corporation tax rate could prove to be the catalyst for East Antrim through private sector job creation, attracting high-tech, modern and knowledge based industries with the help of a highly skilled workforce. This will impact on public spending so we must continue to invest in our skills base to spur private sector investment. Furthermore, so much could be saved if we actually tackled the cost of division in our society by providing shared, instead of segregated, services.
“Ultimately, achieving a prosperous East Antrim relies on all politicians working together to attract businesses and investment into the area. This requires action at local Council and Assembly level, as well as more focused application in Westminster.
“We must act to create a united, cohesive and highly skilled community, ready to face the challenges and seize the opportunities of the 21st Century.”