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First city deal for Northern Ireland gets go-ahead

Words: Laura Edgar
Belfast / iStock-639582978

Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley, the Belfast City Region Deal partners and the Northern Ireland Civil Service have all signed the heads of terms for the Belfast City Deal.

The deal, the first for Northern Ireland, will see the UK Government invest £350 million into the Belfast region over the next 15 years. This aims to support and encourage economic development across the region and create jobs.

It is proposed that once the devolved institutions are restored, the Northern Ireland Executive will match this investment.

The Belfast City Region Deal partners will invest more than £150 million. Investment from the private sector is expected to bring the total investment package to over £1 billion.

Speaking on behalf of the Belfast Region City Deal partners, Belfast’s Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey said the signing of the deal is “significant”.

“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.”

It is estimated that the deal will see the delivery of more than 20 projects to help to create up to 20,000 new and better jobs and have a positive impact on the most deprived communities, delivering a balanced spread of benefits across the region.

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

She confirmed that she is working with chancellor Philip Hammond to secure a city deal for the Derry/Londonderry region.

“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,” she said.

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