Belfast Met teams up with partners for Northern Ireland’s first City Deal

Belfast Met teams up with partners for Northern Ireland’s first City Deal

UK and NI Executive Ministers have gathered at the ICC Belfast to sign the first ever City Deal for Northern Ireland.

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis described the scheme as a ‘turbocharge’ for the economy as he joined First Minister Paul Givan and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill for the signing of the Belfast Region City Deal .

Belfast Met said it is proud to be part of the Belfast Region City Deal and looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the BRCD partners to develop the skills required for the employment opportunities being created through this deal.

The Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) comprises Belfast Met, Belfast City Council, five partner councils, the region’s two universities and three of the region’s Further Education colleges (NRC, SERC and SRC). Belfast Met has played a leading role, alongside BRCD partners, to inform and shape the Employability and Skills Proposition which sets out how the partners will work together to maximise the benefits of the city deal capital investment.

The Belfast Region City Deal unlocks £1 billion of transformative co-investment which will deliver more than 20 highly ambitious projects and programmes, create up to 20,000 new and better jobs and help make the region a global investment destination over the next decade.


The programme includes a £55m fund for Belfast region innovation, £30m of investment for regional innovation hubs, £40m for investing in digital and data infrastructure,  civic hub for Newry City Ccntre, regeneration of Carrickfergus Castle in County Antrim, enhancing Hillsborough Castle with a social enterprise cafe, and developing the historic courthouse and fort in Royal Hillsborough; and a £300m investment for five industry centres of excellence across Northern Ireland in manufacturing, healthcare and media.

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.

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.”

Momentous day

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.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis said: The Belfast region is vibrant and exciting, bursting with potential. Today, with the signing of the Full Deal Agreement, we have reached a major milestone, unlocking £350 million of UK Government capital investment in digital and innovation projects. This funding will be matched by the Northern Ireland Executive.

“Built on a foundation of exceptional talent, creativity and innovation, it is no surprise that Belfast is already ranked in the top 25 Tech Cities in the world, and this funding, which will exceed £1billion, represents a significant opportunity for us to turbocharge the industries of tomorrow.

“The UK Government and NI Executive have each committed up to £350 million to the BRCD and the BRCD partners will contribute a further £150 million. By leveraging additional private sector investment, the partners will deliver a programme with an overall value well over £1 billion.”

For more information on the Belfast Region City Deal, go to Updates are posted at #BRCityDeal.

Some of the projects proposed in the deal include:

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the city deal would “turbocharge” Northern Ireland’s economy.

The proposed projects will still need to have their final business cases signed off, which will be up to Stormont ministers in charge of the relevant departments.

Mr Lewis said he hoped all partners would be committed to ensure progress could be made quickly.


The Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) partners are: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Ards and North Down Borough Council, Belfast City Council, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, Belfast Metropolitan College, Northern Regional College, Southern Regional College and the South Eastern Regional College.