The Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) Council Panel turned its focus today to how tourism and regeneration elements of this transformative programme of regional investment will help drive economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19, as plans for the deal near completion.
Hosted by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and chaired by the district’s Councillor Pete Byrne, the Belfast Region City Deal Council Panel members from the six partner councils met virtually to be updated on the outline business cases for 20 projects that have now been prepared for this ambitious £1 billion programme of investment in innovation and digital, tourism and regeneration, infrastructure and employability and skills.
From the outset, Belfast Region City Deal partner councils, Queen’s University, Ulster University and the regional Further Education Colleges have focused on driving sustained, long term regional growth.
We’ve now examined all of our plans through the lens of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we’re confident that the delivery of our projects will contribute to the long-term recovery of the region. It is therefore crucial that we continue to work at pace with all our partners in government and industry to progress a deal that will allow the combined government investment of £850million to start to flow into the region in 2021.
Today we focused on our plans to reimagine our town and city centres, enhance the region’s attractiveness as a global destination and encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more by creating internationally visible tourism products. When international visitors are ready to travel again, we want to ensure that the Belfast Region is right at the top of their ‘must see’ list.Councillor Pete Byrne
In addition to planned investment of more than £300million in tourism and regeneration, which will support in the region of 4,500 jobs, the Belfast Region City Deal aims to harness the potential of the region’s most resilient sectors - life and health sciences, the digital and creative industries, and advanced manufacturing – as well as delivering critical digital innovation and skills capability to achieve inclusive economic growth.
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. The government and partner investment will leverage critical private sector investment that will ensure delivery of a deal with a value well in excess of £1billion.