Press release

Secretary of State approves first City Deal for Northern Ireland

Rt Hon Karen Bradley alongside partners has signed the Heads of Terms for the Belfast City Deal

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The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, has signed the Heads of Terms for the Belfast City Deal, alongside the Belfast City Regional Deal partners and the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

This is a major milestone towards the completion of the first City Deal for Northern Ireland. The Belfast Region City Deal will see the UK Government invest £350 million into the Belfast Region over the next 15 years. It is proposed that this figure will be matched by the Northern Ireland Executive once the devolved institutions are restored.

The City Deal will be further bolstered by co-investment of upwards of £150m from Belfast Region City Deal partners and investment by the private sector is anticipated to bring the total investment package to over £1 billion.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP said:

I am absolutely delighted to sign the heads of terms for the Belfast City Deal.

The UK Government has committed £350 million of funding to support and encourage economic development across the region, creating jobs and boosting prosperity.

I am also engaging closely with the Chancellor to secure a financial announcement for the Derry-Londonderry Region City Deal and help unlock the huge potential that Derry-Londonderry has to offer. The UK Government is committed to developing a comprehensive and ambitious set of City Deals across Northern Ireland and delivering a stronger economy that works for everyone.

It is hoped the deal will see the delivery of more than 20 projects to help create up to 20,000 new and better jobs alongside an increase in productivity levels, as well as having a positive impact on the most deprived communities, delivering a balanced spread of benefits across the region.

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

The signing of a Heads of Terms for the Belfast Region City Deal is a significant milestone in our journey towards substantial investment in inclusive regional regeneration.

It’s testament to the power of collaboration and partnership and we look forward to progressing plans with our wide range of partners, including our colleagues working to deliver a programme of investment for Derry-Londonderry and the North West region.

This is an investment which will improve quality of life for people living here and further enhance our attractiveness as a destination of choice for investors, visitors, new residents and students alike.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said:

This is tremendous news for the communities and businesses living and operating in the Belfast City region.

This transformative deal will bolster innovation, productivity and prosperity across the region, and I am delighted to see the hard work which has gone into this deal come to fruition.

The ambitious programme will help grow the region’s business strengths in life and health sciences; ICT, digital and creative industries, and advanced manufacturing. It will also support digital development and tourism-led regeneration across the entire region, underpinned by infrastructure developments and investment in skills to connect people to jobs and services.

For more information on the proposed programme of investment, click here. You can also follow #BRcitydeal on Twitter.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Click Head of Terms Document with Signatures (PDF, 1.02MB, 10 pages) for the full Heads of Terms document which sets out further details of the projects being proposed. All projects will be subject to the approval of final business cases.

Belfast Region City Deal incorporates six of the 11 councils in Northern Ireland:

  • Antrim & Newtownabbey
  • Ards & North Down
  • Belfast
  • Lisburn and Castlereagh
  • Newry, Mourne & Down
  • Mid & East Antrim

Alongside Queen’s University and Ulster University, and Regional Further Education colleges, including Belfast Met, Northern Regional College, South Eastern Regional College and the Southern Regional College, it provides a truly collaborative approach to this multi-million pound investment programme and helping to drive economic development across the region, boosting jobs, creating opportunity and encouraging further inward investment.

Some of the 22 proposed projects include:

  • Innovation and digital - creating global centres of innovation excellence in partnership with enhanced digital capability and connectivity;
  • Infrastructure – including Phase 2 of the Belfast Rapid Transit scheme;
  • Tourism and regeneration – delivering a series of internationally visible tourism products and the transformation of key towns across the region; and *Employability and skills – facilitating a strong, complementary employability and skills package to deliver the right skills base to support the growth and opportunities created by this Belfast Region City Deal investment.
Published 26 March 2019