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Four NI councils part of cross-border Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor

The Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor has been launched with four of Northern Ireland’s councils (Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; Belfast; Lisburn and Castlereagh; Newry, Mourne and Down) part of the cross-border organisation.

In 2018, eight partnering councils and two universities came together to work collectively to find ways of realising the potential benefits of further development of the corridor.

This led to the establishment of a Partnership Steering Group made up of the eight council chief executives and the presidents of Dublin City University and Ulster University, who committed to meeting quarterly.

At the launch of the economic corridor last week, a joint report from the universities: ‘The Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor: Current Profile, Potential for Recovery & Opportunities for Cooperation’ was unveiled.

It stated that it is an appropriate time to create a north-south economic corridor to look at opportunities, such as clustering, infrastructure and innovation.

The Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor region has a population in excess of two million people and  some of the key challenges facing the region in the coming years are adapting to Brexit, climate change, transformation to a low carbon economy, low population density and an ageing population.

The immediate objective of the Steering Group is to leverage the network’s resources in areas which can have a positive impact and add significant value to the economic development of the region.

Commenting, Chief Executive of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, David Burns said: “All partners within the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor understand that a strong ethos of cooperation will require time, energy and support. Objectives will be set for achievement in the medium to long-term and will be based on a realisation that local actions can deliver strategic objectives in a practical way.

“I am pleased to be working alongside our Northern Ireland counterparts: Belfast City Council; Newry, Mourne & Down District Council and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, as well as the wider partnership of councils across the corridor to drive forward this exciting partnership for sustainable economic growth.”

Following the launch and publication of the report, an Oversight and Governance Board, which will comprise of 24 councillors (three from each council), will meet to develop a programme of work.

The four councils in the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor from the Republic of Ireland are Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Louth County Council and Meath County Council respectively.

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