Belfast Region City Deal
The Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) comprises the six councils of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Ards and North Down Borough Council, Belfast City Council, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, working in partnership with Queen's and Ulster Universities, the four FE colleges within the region, and the UK Government and NI Executive, to drive inclusive, sustainable growth across the region.
In the October 2018 budget, the UK Chancellor for the Exchequer announced a commitment to the BRCD of £350m from the UK government, alongside a further £150m committed by the BRCD partners. In May 2020, the NI Executive confirmed that it will provide match funding of £350 million towards the BRCD. This funding package of £850m is set to be further enhanced by private sector investment, providing the BRCD with a 10 year Programme of Investment that will be well in excess of £1billion.
The City Deal signalled a new opportunity for collaborative working with the six councils, the two universities, the further education colleges across the Belfast region, the Northern Ireland Civil Service and the UK Government coming together to co-invest with the private sector in the region’s economic future. The BRCD will build on the region’s competitive strengths to help tackle fundamental structural problems in the local economy, including low productivity, insufficient investment in research and development, high levels of economic inactivity, and skill levels which do not yet reflect the requirements of a region aiming for global competitiveness.
Partners are well advanced in getting business cases approved and moving the integrated investment plan across the Investment Pillars of Innovation and Digital, Infrastructure, and Tourism and Regeneration into delivery mode from the new financial year. These transformative investments will be underpinned by an integrated and complementary Employability and Skills proposition to ensure that the right skills (targeting both the needs of our growth sectors as well as skills for inclusion) are available within the region to support the growth created by the planned capital investments.