Queen’s University Belfast, along with Belfast Region City Deal partners, have welcomed news of £350 million investment from Treasury announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the Autumn Budget.
As part of the deal, the NI Executive is expected to add a further £350 million.
It is hoped the deal will create up to 20,000 new and better jobs alongside delivering a 10 year programme of inclusive economic growth – including an increase of £470m Gross Value Added (GVA).
The announcement forms part of a £850 million co-investment package for the city region. Queen’s University and Ulster University have committed £50 million to the project and the six Belfast Region City Deal partner councils 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 and Down District Council have committed £100 million investment.
It is also anticipated that direct investment from the private sector will take the overall package for inclusive growth to well over £1 billion.
Through an unprecedented collaborative approach, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University are developing integrated projects in key sectors, such as Digital, Creative Industries, Advanced Manufacturing and Health, to invigorate the economy as part of the Belfast Region City Deal.
The opportunities presented through the City Deal recognise the crucial role universities play as economic engines. As well as the innovation projects, both institutions will work closely with the Further Education Colleges to support employability and embed skills.
It is anticipated that once the programme is finalised, a Heads of Terms document will be signed by the Secretary of State and Belfast Region City Deal partners (BRCD) in the next few weeks. This will allow full business plans to be prepared for the projects proposed under the Belfast Region City Deal and release the investment.
BRCD partners fully support other deals for NI and will work to ensure that they are complementary to one another.