01 October 2018
Antrim and Newtownabbey’s Mayor, Councillor Paul Michael has welcomed the Belfast Region City Deal proposal and the boost it will give the Antrim and Newtownabbey area. The Mayor was addressing businesses and other guests at his Inaugural Dinner in the Dunadry Hotel.
Following months of intensive preparations, Belfast Region City Deal partners submitted their ambitious negotiating position to the NI Secretary of State and Westminster on Friday 28 September, with the aim of securing £1bn of investment from a number of sources.
This co-investment from the UK government, local government, the universities and private sector will deliver a 10-year programme of inclusive economic growth.
Councillor Paul Michael commented: “To say this is an exciting venture for the six Councils involved would be to completely undersell it – this has the potential to be a game changer for the Belfast region and our Borough.
“The Deal seeks to secure a £1 billion investment with £450 million sought from the UK Treasury to support Digital and Innovation projects, to be delivered over a 10-year period including a major development by Queen’s University Belfast. Queen’s propose establishing an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre to promote the adoption of new manufacturing and material technologies and deliver productivity improvements. This facility will operate at the interface between academia and industry, accelerating new technology developments and will see the development of 8,000 square metres of floor space. We are delighted that the Borough is being considered as one of the potential locations for this facility.
“Other aspects of the proposition will see an investment of £450 million in infrastructure, including the expansion of the Belfast Rapid Transit or Glider project into Antrim and Newtownabbey. A suite of Employability and Skills programmes will support those in the labour market to upskill and progress whilst enabling others into employment for the first time. Tourism-led regeneration also features in the proposition and we were delighted that on 24 September, HBO announced their intentions to secure the legacy of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland, by opening up four of the existing film sets as visitor experiences – including the Winterfell Castle in Moneyglass. I personally, and my fellow Councillors, are thrilled by this development which will bring a unique tourist attraction to the Borough, offering employment, supporting our accommodation and transport providers and increasing awareness of our other attractions. We are very much looking forward to working with HBO, in anticipation of the attraction opening in July 2019. “
Belfast Region City Deal is made up of a collaboration of Ulster University, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast Metropolitan College and the other Further Education Colleges, the private sector, Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, Ards and North Down Borough Council, Belfast City Council, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.
For further updates, go to www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/BRCD and follow #BRcitydeal