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Department for the Economy


A competition to appoint a new Chair to the Board of Northern Ireland Screen has opened. ... more
21 October 2021
The Department has issued a statement on Spend Local cards.... more
20 October 2021
Gordon Lyons urges people to support local business, get your Spend Local card now... more

Our responsibilities

Economic policy

Economic strategy, regulation, innovation, enterprise policy, social economy, access to finance, agri-food, Economic Advisory Group and MATRIX

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Employment and skills programmes (including apprenticeships)

Advice for jobseekers and employers on employment and recruitment programmes that aim to deliver a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the Northern Ireland economy

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Policy and strategy on energy including electricity, gas, renewables and energy efficiency.

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Further education

Advice on all aspects of further education including policy, courses, how to apply and financial support available.

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Higher education

Information and advice on higher education including policy and strategy, finance governance, student finance and research policy.

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Employment rights

Free and confidential help with employment rights is available from Labour Relations Agency for employers and employees. The Department provides online guidance on employment rights on nidirect for employees and for employers.

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Consumer affairs

Working with both consumers and traders to develop consumer rights and responsibilities

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European Fund Management

The Department is the Managing Authority for the 2014-2020 European Social Fund (ESF) Programme and the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme (ERDF).Advice on all aspects of the European Social Fund (ESF) Programme, including how to apply, ESF guidance and support for successful projects.

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Supporting investment in telecommunications infrastructure, facilitating improvements in broadband, mobile and international connectivity

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Developing tourism strategy and policy in Northern Ireland (NI).

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Insolvency service

Administration/investigation of bankrupts and companies in liquidation; disqualification of directors; regulating insolvency profession; Northern Ireland-specific legislation and policy.

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Minerals and petroleum

Responsibilities include: prospecting/development licensing; exploration leases; monitoring abandoned mines; engagement with local councils on Local Development Plans; geoscience information and services through Geological Survey NI.

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Credit Unions and Societies

This page is for societies registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Acts (Northern Ireland) 1969 and 1976 and the Credit Unions (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. The Department for the Economy is responsible for the policy and legislative framework.

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Statistics and economic research

This page contains statistics, research and analysis about the local economy and the development of skills.

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Our documents

Access to information

How to request information from the Department for the Economy including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

The Minister

Gordon Lyons was appointed as Minister for the Economy on 6 July 2021.


Management and structure

The Departmental Board is chaired by the Permanent Secretary and manages the Department within the strategic policy and resources framework set by the Minister. It supports the Permanent Secretary ...more

Contact us

Department for the Economy
Massey Avenue

Telephone: 028 9052 9900

Text Relay: 18001 028 9052 9900


In line with public health advice the majority of staff continue to work from home.

Please note: individual work areas may be located on multiple sites other than Netherleigh - check contact pages for details.

Alternatively contact us using our feedback form


Section 8 of The Functioning of Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act NI 2021 places certain duties upon Ministers, special advisers and officials within departments in relation to recording lobbying (as defined by the Act). Contacting the Minister directly (either verbally or through written correspondence to a non-Departmental email or social media account) may result in a record of the contact being included within the Economy Minister’s lobbying register.

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