The partners behind the Belfast city region are delighted today that the Chancellor announced in the Budget that he will “open negotiations for a Belfast Region City Deal as part of our commitment to a comprehensive and ambitious set of City Deals for Northern Ireland”.

A City Deal for the Belfast Region would be a ten-year investment plan to improve infrastructure in the region, develop innovation and skills and attract more and better jobs. This will create a real ‘fast-forward’ for economic growth here. Working closely with businesses, universities and further education sectors, locally elected representatives across all parties are committed to getting the best deal possible.

We look forward to negotiating in due course but it is imperative we see the restoration of a functioning Executive in order to land an ambitious, forward-looking package that will boost prosperity and build skills – delivering not only for the city region, but for the whole economy of Northern Ireland.