Belfast City Council has taken its bid for a city growth deal to Stormont today.
This follows the meeting in Westminster last month attended by local Councillors, Chief Executive Suzanne Wylie, Belfast MPs, senior political figures, business leaders and investors - which addressed how Council would develop a plan to secure a deal for Belfast to boost the economy and create jobs reaching all areas of the city.
The debate in Parliament Buildings today focused on how Belfast needed to improve on its competitiveness. There was potential to use a real partnership approach and city devolution with the Northern Ireland Executive and UK Government to build on the city’s strengths and become a modern, dynamic region.
Belfast has always had distinguished history as a pioneering city – it now needs to take its place as a modern, international city that can successfully compete with others in global trade networks.
Just like Manchester and Glasgow, we need to champion Belfast to have more powers to grow and prosper, to attract investors whilst also improving the lives of everyone in the city.
Belfast certainly has the assets, the opportunity and the political will to implement a radical agenda for change that will transform the lives of those living in the city and further afield.Suzanne Wylie. Chief Executive
The Stormont session also focused on how Belfast was a city on the rise - full of ambition, optimism and energy. It boasted a young, talented workforce, a fDi hub and a thriving cultural scene. The local government reforms that came into effect last April had further significantly shifted the role of local government in Northern Ireland towards one of dynamic place shaping.
Belfast City Council was joined by representatives from neighbouring regions at Stormont today including Ards and North Down; Lisburn and Castlereagh and Antrim; Newtownabbey Borough Councils as well as Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.