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Northern Ireland news

Belfast council to spend £500k developing projects for 'City Deal'

Belfast City Council allocated £500,000 to help develop a series of projects as part of its 'city deal'. Picture by Hugh Russell

BELFAST City Council will spend £500,000 developing projects to be included in a promised 'City Deal'.

Schemes currently being explored and costed include a multimedia tourist centre telling the story of Belfast.

Other potential projects include a “Digital Innovation Centre”, an “Academic Medical Research Institute” and a “5G Smart District”, according to council documents.

Plans are still at an early stage, but the council said a one-off allocation of £500,000 was agreed at a committee meeting last November "to support the development of the Belfast Region City Deal".

“A city deal for the Belfast region would result in a 10-year investment plan to improve infrastructure, digital connectivity, tourism assets and innovation hubs as well as delivering a major skills programme.

“The aim of the deal is ultimately to create more and better jobs across all of our growth sectors, pushing the ‘fast-forward' button on economic growth here and ensuring that those opportunities are accessible across all of our communities.”

Belfast is among a list of city areas in line to receive cash and new powers under the British government's city deal programme, with Derry also hoping to benefit.

Work has already started on the development of an outline business case for the 'Belfast Story' project, which is due to be completed by the end of June 2018.

According to council documents, “work is also continuing on the tourism product in other areas such as the Gobbins II and Carrickfergus Castle”.

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