Belfast Region City Deal
Belfast Region City Deal - A Decade of Opportunity for Lisburn & Castlereagh
Our council area is part of a partnership that will benefit from the highly ambitious Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) investment of £1 billion. This comprises of a funding injection of £350 million each from the UK Government and NI Executive, £150 million from partner councils and universities and a further £150 million to be supplemented by private sector partners.
We are pleased to be part of the BRCD area of investment that stretches across six local authority areas. In addition to ourselves these are Belfast City Council, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council, Ards & North Down Borough Council, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, and Newry, Mourne & Down District Council
What are the Belfast Region City Deal Opportunities for Lisburn & Castlereagh?
The Belfast Region City Deal ambitions for growth will be delivered through the following pillars of investment under which our council will strive to draw down significant investment opportunities.
There are four pillars within BRCD and three funds. These are:
- Tourism & Regeneration
- Digital & Innovation
- Infrastructure Pillar
- Employability & Skills Pillar
- Innovation Challenge Fund Digital & Innovation
- Enabling Infrastructure Fund
- Regional Innovation Hubs Fund
As a council we are progressing a number of projects.
Our central goal is to deliver more and better jobs; accessible to people from all communities.
We’ll be sharing updates on the Belfast Region Deal on Twitter using #brcitydeal
What plans does the council have?
Destination Royal Hillsborough
The council is currently finalising a business case seeking £20 million City Deal investment to establish Royal Hillsborough as a high quality, leading visitor destination and experience. By investing in further enhancements to Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough Forest and the public realm, the project will deliver a must-see ‘whole village’ tourism experience enriching the significant heritage tourism potential and offering of this landmark asset.
The planned project will also regenerate the village with an enhanced, sustainable culture and heritage offer (integrated with the wider regional heritage offering in NI as a whole).
What we have done and will do to during this project:
- Formed a partnership with the Department for Infrastructure and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.
- Regular engagement with the community at all relevant stages
- Developed plans to build on an already popular destination in Hillsborough Castle to create a world class village that extends visitor spend and numbers
- ‘Destination Royal Hillsborough’ will offer integrated and improved access and connections to key attractions such as the Castle, Courthouse, Fort, Forest, Gardens and wider village area.
Regional Innovation Hubs Fund
The council is currently working with public sector and private sector partners to secure funding under this £30 million fund to develop an Entrepreneurship & Innovation Hub.
This hub will aim to provide a ‘high quality, digitally advanced, co-making innovation space’ to support a wide range of business development activities promoting growth, productivity and practical problem solving.
Funding will also be sought to develop sectoral specific industry hubs that will encourage more companies to engage in ebusiness and digitisation opportunities.
The Infrastructure Pillar will invest in a range of projects that aims to connect people to opportunities and services through enhanced and sustainable infrastructure. This in turn will contribute to the delivery of balanced economic growth and further job creation.
Subject to NI Executive approval, it is the ambition of the Belfast Region City Deal to contribute £35 million to bring forward the Belfast Rapid Transit Phase 2. If successful this expansion to the rapid transport network will provide a high quality passenger experience north to Antrim and Newtownabbey and south to Lisburn and Castlereagh (Saintfield Road).
What else is the council considering?
The council is researching other opportunities within the following:
Digital & Innovation Pillar
The Digital & Innovation Pillar seeks to build on the Belfast City Regions innovation and digital capability and facilitate invention, commercialisation and widespread adoption as a driver of economic prosperity and increased wellbeing.
Innovation Challenge Fund
This £55 million fund will stimulate innovation addressing three Grand Challenges:
(i) artificial intelligence and data,
(ii) health & wellbeing and
(iii) sustainability & resilience.
This fund will respond to the emerging needs and characteristics of the region and be shaped by a series of ‘missions’ to stimulate collaborative innovation and investment. It aims to support growth in key industry sectors while also addressing major public policy challenges.
Enabling Infrastructure Fund
This £40 million fund will stimulate the conditions for innovation and business growth by targeting investment in digital connectivity, data infrastructure and other enabling infrastructure to support the development of Smart Districts and Regional Digital Testbeds.
Given technology’s underpinning role in the future of many commercial and public services across a wide range of sectors, the funding will have a particular focus on supporting the rapid availability of advanced wireless networks.
Employability & Skills Pillar
The Employability and Skills pillar will utilise investment from City Deal partners and the private sector to put in place arrangements to enable a constant pipeline of talent to support the growth created by emerging City Deal investments. It will ensure the right skills are available within the region to support the potential job opportunities.
The Employability and Skills pillar has been framed around three thematic areas:
- Skills for Growth: working with employers to align skills programmes and employment opportunities with the growth in sectors supported by City Deal; helping to create new apprenticeship pathways and fostering development of higher level skills.
- Skills for Inclusion: creating opportunities to address skills imbalances and improve access to employment opportunities across the region through socially inclusive progression pathways.
- Skills for a Digital Future: helping to build digital literacy from grassroots up and enhancing the digital transformation of businesses across the region, with a specific focus upon smaller enterprises.