Belfast residents called upon to 'influence' city's future priorities

  • Belfast City Council wants "to make sure that the public has the opportunity to influence" the city's priorities for the next four years, said Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Kate Nicholl.

    A public consultation and engagement exercise is currently underway to consider if the original vision of the city's community plan - The Belfast Agenda - needs to change, due to the different impacts of Covid-19. 

    First published in 2017, The Belfast Agenda sets out a joint proposition and number of ambitions for the city up to 2035.

    These include creating 46,000 new jobs, attracting 66,000 people to live in the city, reducing the life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived neighbourhoods by 33%, and ensuring every young person leaving school has a destination that fulfils their potential.

    The Mayor continued: “In the last few years, massive strides have been made in areas that we and our partners agreed were priorities for the city when we first published The Belfast Agenda. Over the period of the first community plan, jobs in the city increased by over 10,000; the number of businesses increased by almost 10%; almost 5,000 more people were living in Belfast; and the estimated spend by visitors on overnight trips increased by 50%.

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    “Unfortunately, the impacts of Covid-19 mean that conditions locally and globally have changed, so shorter term targets are going to be impacted. But we want to make sure that we get back on track and make a strong recovery as quickly as possible for the benefit of everyone in the city.

    “Agreeing economic, social, wellbeing and environmental priorities for the next four years will guide the actions of Belfast’s community planning partners, so this review is an extremely important piece of work.

    “I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and help shape Belfast’s future.”

    There are 14 statutory community planning partners in Belfast who jointly signed up to the original Belfast Agenda, along with the city’s higher and further education institutions, private sector and the wider community and voluntary sectors.

    Some parrtners include the Public Health Agency, Invest NI, Sport NI and Tourism NI.

    To find out more and to take part in the public consultation, visit yoursay.belfastcity.gov.uk

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