The Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) Council Panel has received a detailed report today on the progress of this transformative programme of regional investment and the role it will play in Covid-19 recovery.
At a virtual meeting hosted by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Belfast Region City Deal Council Panel members from the six partner councils were briefed on the significant progress being made on this ambitious £850 million programme of investment in innovation and digital, tourism and regeneration, infrastructure and employability and skills.
Each of the 22 proposed Belfast Region City Deal projects has been scrutinised to ensure that it is strongly aligned with the needs of the economy as it seeks to recover from the impact of Covid-19, and outline business cases are due to be completed this autumn.
Councillor Uel Mackin, who chaired today’s meeting of the Council Panel said:
We’re focused on making a robust contribution to the economy’s recovery and prosperity and the collaboration between the Belfast Region City Deal partner councils, Queen’s University, Ulster University and the regional Further Education Colleges is remarkable. Thanks to that, and our resolve to deal with challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, we believe that with the support of government partners and industry we can still achieve our aim of securing a deal that will allow the combined government of investment of £850million to start to flow into the region from April 2021.
Through the City Deal we’re harnessing the potential of our most resilient sectors - life and health sciences, digital and creative industries, and advanced manufacturing. We’re also delivering the digital innovation and skills capability that’s so critical now to creating inclusive growth for both businesses and communities.
We fully recognise the huge challenges that our tourism, hospitality and retail sectors are facing as a result of the pandemic. However, we believe that our plans for transformative investments in tourism and regeneration will play a vital role in reimagining our towns and city centres - ensuring that when international visitors are ready to travel again, the Belfast region is right at the top of their must see list.”
With the NI Executive’s commitment of £350m to match fund the investment of £350m from the UK Government, the overall investment package from both governments and BRCD partners currently stands at £850m for this transformative 15 year programme.