Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor Launched

March 24, 2021

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is one of eight local authorities from either side of the border working collectively under the partnership ‘Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor’.

At the launch of the Economic Corridor today a joint report from Dublin City University and Ulster University, The Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor: Current Profile, Potential for Recovery & Opportunities for Cooperation, states that this is an appropriate time to create a north-south Economic Corridor to look at opportunities such as clustering, infrastructure and innovation.

Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Robin Walker MP and the Minister for Finance, Conor Murphy MLA, were joined by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD and Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD for the virtual launch event.  Also in attendance were the leaders of each council, Elected Members from across the region and the eight Council Chief Executives. 

Speaking about the launch the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Nicholas Trimble, said: “Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council want to realise the opportunities that exist for economic development through this partnership approach.  Being part of the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor means we can position ourselves to grow our indigenous businesses, be part of clusters of key sectors and leverage collaborative working. I am delighted to see such a high level of interest in the launch today and look forward to the council being part of the journey ahead.”

Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, David Burns, said: “All partners within the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor understand that a strong ethos of co-operation will require time, energy and support. Objectives will be set for achievement in the medium to long-term and will be based on a realisation that local actions can deliver strategic objectives in a practical way. I am pleased to be working alongside our Northern Ireland counterparts; Belfast City Council, Newry Mourne & Down District Council and Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, as well as the wider partnership of councils across the corridor to drive forward this exciting partnership for sustainable economic growth.”

Lisburn Castlereagh is one of Northern Ireland’s fastest growing regions with a strong manufacturing, engineering and agri-food presence.  Excellent infrastructure combined with low operating costs also means it is well placed for international business and being part of the partnership it adds real benefit to the Economic Corridor; making it the most attractive region for investors.

Looking back to the establishment of the Economic Corridor in 2018, the eight partnering Councils and the two Universities came together to work collectively to find ways of realising the potential benefits of further development of the Corridor. This led to the establishment of a Partnership Steering Group made up of the eight Council Chief Executives and the Presidents of the two universities who committed to meeting quarterly.

The immediate objective of the Steering Group is to leverage the network’s resources in areas which can have a positive impact and add significant value to the economic development of the region at a time of great economic and social uncertainty.

The Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor region has a population in excess of two million people boasting a highly educated workforce with 34% of the population holding Third Level qualifications.  Key sectors along the Corridor include Advanced Manufacturing, ICT, Agri-Food, Professional Services, Financial Services, Construction and Tourism.  Some of the key challenges facing the region in the coming years are adapting to EU Exit, Climate Change and transformation to a low carbon economy, low population density and an ageing population.

Following today’s launch and the publication of the report an Oversight and Governance Board, which comprises of 24 Elected Members, will meet to develop a programme of work. Alderman Jim Dillon, MBE; Councillor Uel Mackin and Councillor David Honeyford will represent Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council on the Oversight and Governance Board.

For further information on the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor please visit www.dbec.info and follow @dbecireland on twitter.