Northern Ireland news

Group set up to advise on infrastructure projects

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon with advisory panel chair Kirsty McManus. Picture by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

A PANEL has been set up to advise Stormont minister Nichola Mallon on delivering "sustainable and inclusive" infrastructure.

The body will look at projects relating to water, drainage and inland waterways, public transport, roads and cycling infrastructure.

It will also examine the potential for establishing a regional commission to provide more effective support for the planning and development of big infrastructure projects, including cross-border ventures.

The panel will be chaired by Institute of Directors regional head Kirsty McManus and is scheduled to present a final report to the minister, including a series of key recommendations, within a matter of weeks.

Ms Mallon said she was committed to the "delivery of change within our communities, that transforms lives, enhances our economy and leads to long term growth and opportunities on our island".

"I recognise that a modern and well maintained, sustainable infrastructure system is essential to deliver economic growth; address regional imbalance; tackle the climate emergency and shape our places and spaces so people want to live here, work here and invest here," she said.

She said government planning needed to be "done in partnership, across departments but also with the public and private sectors, with our communities and with our neighbours across these islands".

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