Significant Progress Made On £1bn Belfast Region City Deal

Belfast City Council has announced that significant progress has been made on the £1 billion Belfast Region City Deal.

Planning has been approved for Newtownabbey's Factory of the Future sit at Global Point and the contract for pre-construction has been awarded for this key component of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

Studio Ulster construction is progressing at pace at Giant's Park, Belfast, and appointment of a supplier for equipment design, development, supply, and installation is underway. This production facility will be operated by Ulster University, via Studio Ulster Ltd.

Queen's University is now awarding a contract for the iREACH Health pre-construction phase, submitted its planning application for the Lisburn Road site, and is progressing work on site acquisition. It's also working to launch its Global Innovation Institute Industry Advisory Board. The outline business case for Ulster University’s Centre for Digital Healthcare Technology (CDHT) has received approval from the Department for Economy and is currently being reviewed by the Department of Finance.

Mid and East Antrim's i4c Cleantech Centre at St Patrick’s Barracks has received outline business case approval and an Integrated Consultant Team will soon be appointed.

Funding of £3.8 million has been secured by Belfast City Council to support the Belfast Region as a 5G Innovation Region and has signed a contract for almost £1 million to deliver the ‘Augment the City’ SME challenge competition launching in March. The outline business case for the Design Smarter: Digital Twin Centre led by Digital Catapult has also been approved. The £7.5 million Digital Transformation Flexible Fund project involving all 11 councils, led by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has also been launched.

Funding contracts are in place for the Carrickfergus, Newry City Centre and Bangor Waterfront regeneration projects and an outline business case has been approved for The Gobbins Phase 2, with work progressing to agree a funding contract in the next month.

Progress has also been made on procuring design teams for Bangor Waterfront, Destination Royal Hillsborough and the Mourne Mountain Gateway visitor experience are progressing well. Design development is underway on Belfast Stories and Carrickfergus Regeneration.

On the Belfast Rapid Transit Phase 2 extensions to Glengormley and Carryduff, feasibility studies are being completed. Work is also underway to determine city centre routes to align with the Eastern Transport Plan, Bolder Vision for Belfast and proposed public realm projects.

A public consultation will be launched this spring on the proposed Newry Southern Relief Road and procurement for a Lagan Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge design and build contractor will get underway in late 2024.

A skills assessment is also progressing in order to understand the labour and skills implications of the Belfast Region City Deal investments, including the Advanced Manufacturing and Creative Industries sectors.

Councillor Ronan McLaughlin, Belfast City Council, said: "It’s so encouraging to hear that 15 Belfast Region City Deal Outline Business Cases are now approved, with eight Contracts for Funding signed, for projects with a value of more than £430million.

"Momentum is really building now we’re in delivery phase. This programme of investment is all about creating inclusive opportunities for people living here – and for our economy. I’d like to thank all our partners for their continued collaborative efforts in driving this. Targeted investment in our highest growth sectors is exactly what our economy needs right now."

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

05 April 2004
Business membership figures show 'massive' increase
Figures released today by Belfast City Centre Management and the Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce show a massive increase in the number of businesses joining their joint membership scheme.
16 November 2023
New Spaces And Places To Redefine Belfast City Region
A new initiative to drive the development of new spaces and places that sustainably boost employment, improve tourism and cultural infrastructure, deliver homes and support community and neighbourhood regeneration has been announced, with the redefinition of the Belfast City Region.
02 March 2022
Design Ideas Sought For New Belfast Stories Site
Early career architects are being invited to pitch their creative concepts for the temporary use of a vacant site on the corner of Royal Avenue and North Street, the location for the £100m Belfast Stories tourism destination.
23 July 2009
Belfast 'Twelfth' Was Shopping Hit
Initial feedback on the commercial impact of Belfast shops being open over the traditional 'Twelfth' celebration has been excellent. This year's event, titled 'Orangefest' on 13 July witnessed Belfast city centre shops opening on the day of the parades for the first time.
19 September 2018
Primark Donates £500,000 To Support Businesses Affected By Fire
Retailer Primark is donating £500,000 to Belfast City Council's City Recovery Investment Fund. The fund is being set up after a number of businesses have been severely affected by the fire at the Bank Buildings which happened over three weeks ago. A cordon remains in place and 14 firms have been closed for up to four months.