NI Executive approves £700m Belfast City Region Deal investment

  • The NI Executive has approved match funding for the £700m Belfast City Region Deal, which will form part of the region's Covid-19 recovery strategy.

    Before the Covid-19 outbreak happened, Belfast was on track to benefit from a substantial investment in the form of the Belfast Region City Deal. The huge collaboration between government and industry was designed to inject £850m into the city and create 20,000 new jobs with far-reaching projects to boost teh booming NI tech scene.

    The proposal involved the creation of a network of state-of-the-art facilities to aid innovation, an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, a Centre for Digital Healthcare Technology, a Digital and Innovation Platform and Partnership, a Screen and Media Innovation Lab, and more. It was to be funded by around £100m from industry and local universities and £350m from the UK treasury matched with an equivalent from the NI Executive.

    The deal has been uncertain due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but this week the NI Executive confirmed its match funding for the deal. This guarantees £700m of budgeted projects will go forward, including investment in infrastructure, regeneration, tourism, and innovation centres. An additional £100 has also been set aside for complementary projects to the city deal, and £150m is coming from industry partners.

    The investment is now expected to form an important part of the city's plan to recover from the Covid-19 outbreak. It covers projects across Antrim and Newtownabbey, Ards and North Down, Lisburn and Castlereagh, Mid and East Antrim and Newry, Mourne and Down. It also comes alongside the announcement of "£252 million for the Mid, South & West, £210 million for Derry City and Strabane and £72 million for Causeway Coast and Glens."

    Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Daniel Baker said: "At a time when there’s so much uncertainty because of this pandemic, the confirmation of this significant funding package is very welcome indeed. We’re working to deliver substantial regional regeneration and this investment will allow us to recover from the effects of Covid-19 more quickly, improve quality of life and create much needed jobs."

    Source: Written based on press release, Belfast Region City Deal

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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