Belfast Region City Deal

A vision of inclusive economic growth that will deliver more and better jobs; have a positive impact on our most deprived communities and offer a balanced spread of benefits.

The Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) presents a vision of inclusive economic growth that will deliver more and better jobs; have a positive impact on our most deprived communities and offer a balanced spread of benefits across the region.

If successful, the BRCD is predicted to generate:

  • 20,000 jobs
  • £4 billion private sector investment leverage
  • 5% increase in GVA.

During negotiations it will be important to ensure that the BRCD:

  • secures £450M capital from Treasury and a total of £1 billion capital for the deal
  • gets agreement on the key themes/pillars
  • secures an understanding that the final programme delivered will change, subject to full OBCs.

Ards and North Down will benefit significantly from the opportunities presented by the deal, including:

  • Overall £30M revenue from the regional Employability and Skills programme – supporting those entering the labour market, those already in work and those excluded from the labour market (estimated c£500k per year x 10 years into the Borough).
  • Overall £152M capital towards a regional digital programme– this includes a digital infrastructure enabling fund that will support digital connectivity across the Borough and a network of state of the art innovation spaces. The Borough is projected to secure a new Innovation Hub as part of this (estimated at £14M).
  • Ards and North Down Regional Park – new multi-use recreational facility with major visitor attractions at Whitespots Country Park, Newtownards. £5M phase 1 enabling works through the BRCD will help realise the potential for the development of this £40M project.
  • Bangor Waterfront Regeneration – potential of £40M from the BRCD will support this major regeneration project stretching over 2 miles from Pickie to Ballyholme, including new greenways and coastal paths, the re-imagining of Ballyholme Beach, the redevelopment of Bangor seafront and the development of a unique new national visitor attraction.
  • £254M on new Innovation projects led by Queens and Ulster University. This includes world-class innovation centres for digital healthcare, clinical research, data processing, advanced manufacturing and the creative industries. These projects will support business across the  Borough and region, as well as driving the Northern Ireland economy and the health and wellbeing of the population.

Anticipated potential direct capital expenditure within the Borough of c£70M and an additional £1M revenue to support skills and employability.

Belfast City Deal image

Statement from Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Richard Smart

“I am excited about the opportunities that the Belfast Region City Deal can provide.  It presents a vision of inclusive economic growth that will deliver more and better jobs; have a positive impact on our most deprived communities and offer a balanced spread of benefits across the area.”

“For Ards and North Down, the deal presents an opportunity for us to access significant new capital funding for a range of exciting projects.  It will allow us to develop our vision for a regional park bounded by 48km of greenway – at the heart of this park will be a new multi-use recreational facility with major visitor attractions in the lands at the current Whitespots Country Park, Newtownards.  It will potentially fund regeneration plans for the coastline in Bangor from Pickie Fun Park to Ballymacormick Point, including new greenways and coastal paths, the re-imagining of Ballyholme Beach, the redevelopment of Bangor seafront and the development of a unique new national visitor attraction.”

“It will support the creation of a new Enterprise Park and Innovation Hub, linked to a regional innovators network.  These will bring together state of the art digital capability and skills to support local businesses particularly within advanced manufacturing, agri-foods, the creative industries and life sciences.  The deal also has ambitious plans for major transportation infrastructure projects which will support the movement of people to jobs, digital connectivity throughout the Borough and region and an integrated skills and employability programme – to support those entering the labour market for the first time, those already in work and those excluded from the labour market.”

“We are now entering a negotiation period with UK Government and the Northern Ireland Office and it is anticipated that a positive announcement will be made in the Autumn Budget statement; after which the partners will have the green light to work up the proposals further.  We are engaging with partners, including SERC, local businesses, central government and our other local Council partners.  It is this collaborative approach that will enable the deal to make a real and game-changing difference to our local economy; supporting our vision to make Ards and North Down a great place to live, work, visit and invest.”