Belfast City Hall

A first for NI as £1bn Belfast Region City Deal signed

UK and Northern Ireland Executive Ministers have signed the first ever City Deal for Northern Ireland.

The Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) unlocks £1bn of transformative co-investment, which will deliver more than 20 projects and programmes, create up to 20,000 new and better jobs and help make the region a global investment destination over the next decade.

The deal will strengthen the region’s offer in growth sectors, such as life and health sciences, digital and creative industries and advanced manufacturing.

It will also support next generation digital capabilities, boost tourism by creating world-class visitor experiences and enable regeneration, underpinned by infrastructure developments and investment in skills to connect people to jobs and services.

Belfast Region City Deal partners have been working since 2017 with the Northern Ireland Executive, the UK Government and industry partners to develop the deal and prepare the case for investment.

Speaking on behalf of the Belfast Region City Deal partners, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl said:

“Thanks to cross-party political support, private sector backing and unprecedented levels of collaboration from all of the Belfast region partners, we’ve succeeded in securing this significant, long-term commitment to transforming the NI economy in the sectors where we have the potential to become world leaders.

“The deal comes at a critical time, as we work to help local businesses and communities recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. A decade of opportunity starts now.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis added:

The Belfast region is vibrant and exciting, bursting with potential. With the signing of the Full Deal Agreement, we have reached a major milestone, unlocking £350m of UK Government capital investment in digital and innovation projects. This funding will be matched by the Northern Ireland Executive.

“Built on a foundation of exceptional talent, creativity and innovation, it is no surprise that Belfast is already ranked in the top 25 tech cities in the world, and this funding, which will exceed £1bn, represents a significant opportunity for us to turbocharge the industries of tomorrow.

“The UK Government and NI Executive have each committed up to £350m to the BRCD and the BRCD partners will contribute a further £150m. By leveraging additional private sector investment, the partners will deliver a programme with an overall value well over £1bn.”

Councils involved in the deal include: 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 respectively.

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