The Deal will strengthen the region’s offer in growth sectors such as life and health sciences, digital and creative industries and advanced manufacturing. It will also support next generation digital capabilities, boost tourism by creating world-class visitor experiences and enable regeneration, underpinned by infrastructure developments and investment in skills to connect people to jobs and services.
Speaking on behalf of the Belfast Region City Deal partners, Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl, said: “This is a momentous day for the Belfast region. Thanks to cross-party political support, private sector backing and unprecedented levels of collaboration from all of the Belfast region partners, we’ve succeeded in securing this significant, long term commitment to transforming the NI economy in the sectors where we have the potential to become world leaders. The Deal comes at a critical time, as we work to help local businesses and communities recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. A decade of opportunity starts now.”
Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive at Belfast Met, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with our partners and are committed to working to strengthen the economic success of the Belfast City Region.
“As a leading partner in the Belfast Region City Deal, the College will deliver a series of interventions to support vital skills, employability, apprenticeships and careers enhancement, which in turn will underpin significant capital investments in innovation, tourism and regeneration over the next 10 years.
“As an FE College Belfast Met is a skills engine with a dual role in supporting economic development by working with businesses to create new employment and apprenticeship opportunities, and in ensuring that there are opportunities for all to acquire the necessary skills to access employment through our inclusive pathways from entry level up to Higher Education.”
Damian Duffy, Director of Curriculum and Learner Success, confirmed: ”Belfast Met and the other BRCD partner Colleges have led the development of the Employability and Skills proposition for BRCD over the last 3 years and will have a crucial role to play to develop the pipeline of skills that will be needed for the job opportunities being created through the Belfast Region City Deal.
“Working in partnership with the Councils and Universities and aligning our interventions to support employability and skills, we have the chance to develop new curriculum solutions which are essential to underpin the work required to meet the ambitious employment targets resulting from the capital investment programme.
“Given the anticipated pressures on public spending moving forward collaborative approaches will become a core part of the planning and delivery models to avoid the potential for overlap and duplication. The Belfast Region City Deal can make a substantial impact on delivering against the priorities mapped out in the 10X Economic Vision and the Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland.”
For more information on the Belfast Region City Deal, go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk/belfastregioncitydeal. Updates are posted at #BRCityDeal.