£850m Regional Investment Initiative Nearing 'Important Milestone'

An £850 million investment in regional transformational projects across the innovation and digital, tourism and regeneration, infrastructure, and employability is nearing "an important milestone", according to the Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) Council Panel.

Drawn from across the political spectrum, the Council Panel is made up of 24 elected members representing the six BRCD council partners. Working collaboratively with council officers, the Panel is overseeing the development of Outline Business Cases (OBCs) for these transformational projects.

Hosted by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the meeting was chaired by the borough's Mayor, Councillor Peter Johnston.

The Mayor said: "The BRCD has been a catalyst for increased collaboration between the six councils and our partners, led by our Council Panel.

"Despite significant challenges posed by COVID-19, our combined efforts have seen us continue to make great strides throughout the pandemic in the development of detailed OBCs for more than 20 projects.

"Now nearing completion, the submission of business cases to the UK and NI Governments in just a few weeks' time represents an important milestone in the BRCD journey so far. It takes us one step closer to the delivery phase and seeing this £850 million investment start to flow into our region from as early as April 2021."

Councillor Johnston said BRCD will be "critical" to the economic recovery of the Belfast Region following the global pandemic.
News Image
He said: "Significant work has been undertaken in recent months by all partners involved to ensure the BRCD proposals align closely to the short to medium-term needs of the region's economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis. But this ambitious programme is also about realising the full economic growth potential of the region in the longer term.

"As well as creating and sustaining employment, the BRCD will help strengthen the region's business offer in growth sectors such as life and health sciences, the digital and creative industries, and advanced manufacturing. It will also support next generation digital capabilities, boost tourism and support the regeneration of the region, underpinned by infrastructure developments and investment in skills to connect people to jobs and services."

The BRCD will see the UK Government invest £350 million into the Belfast Region, with a further co-investment of £150 million from Belfast Region City Deal partners. In May 2020, the NI Executive confirmed that it will provide match funding of £350 million towards the BRCD.

The six partner councils in the BRCD are Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council; Ards and North Down Borough Council; Belfast City Council; Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council; Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. The collaboration also includes Queen's University Belfast, Ulster University and the regional Further Education Colleges (Belfast Metropolitan College; Northern Regional College; Southern Regional College and South Eastern Regional College).

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 October 2013
Belfast Council Launches Business Development Programme
Local manufacturers are being offered help with reducing costs and increasing profits through a new business development programme funded by Belfast City Council. The Manufacturing Efficiency Programme is open to small and medium-sized companies in the city from the manufacturing subsectors.
06 May 2016
Traders Lobby For Lidl Store Expansion
The Connswater Traders' Association has urged politicians and planning officials to support a proposed store expansion by supermarket Lidl at the site. A decision is due to be made on the planning application later this month.
10 June 2021
£19m Flood Alleviation Fund Announced
A £19 million fund has been announced for flood protection projects across Northern Ireland by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.
01 June 2009
Female Alliance Lord Mayor Mooted
The Alliance party is hotly tipped to take the chain of Belfast Lord Mayor at this evening's council meeting. Tonight will see either the Liberal Democrat-aligned Alliance or the DUP elected to the office of first citizen. Both parties are expected to put themselves forward for the role.
05 December 2005
Belfast councillors unite in attack on rates rise
Belfast councillors have united in condemnation of the 19% rise in the regional rate planned for the coming year. The figure emerged last week at the monthly meeting of Belfast City Council, at which all parties condemned the 19% increase in the regional rate next year.