Policy Forum for Northern Ireland

Next steps for delivering the Belfast City Region Deal: infrastructure, key partnerships and developing workforce skills

Morning, Wednesday, 5th December 2018



This seminar will assess the next steps in delivering the Belfast City Region Deal, and its key aims for developing infrastructure, promoting investment and economic development, and meeting the needs of communities.

It is timed as an opportunity to discuss the expected agreement on Heads of Terms, with the Belfast City Region Partner councils currently working to produce their draft proposition document on the Deal.

Policymakers and key stakeholders will examine how to deliver the key aims - taking into account the Industrial Strategic Framework, the Digital Vision, Employability and Skills Proposition and the Infrastructure Investment Framework - and how best to build on the relative strength of the Belfast City Region as an economic driver for Northern Ireland.

Further discussion will examine developing major infrastructure projects including creating a travel to work area across the City Region and enhancing Belfast/Dublin transport links - as well as looking at the next steps in delivering smart cities and urban innovation, and the latest thinking on delivering digital and transport projects, including Belfast Rapid Transit phase 2 and Transport Hub phase 2.

Sessions will also examine how the Further and Higher Education sectors can work most effectively to invest in skills for the future - targeting major growth sectors such as ICT and the services industry - develop key innovation projects through centres of innovation and excellence and tackle economic inactivity.

Delegates will also consider how best to deliver inclusive growth and meet the needs of communities in the Belfast City Region - including Belfast City Council and the surrounding local authority areas - and examine lessons that can be learnt on delivering a City Deal from the experience in Glasgow.

Guest of Honour

Liam Hannaway

Chief Executive, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Guest of Honour

Liam Hannaway

Chief Executive, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council


Claire Hanna MLA

Member of the Legislative Assembly for South Belfast and Finance Spokesperson, SDLP


Principal Marie-Thérèse McGivern

Chief Executive and Principal, Belfast Metropolitan College

Professor Paddy Nixon

Vice Chancellor and President, Ulster University

Professor Ian Greer

Vice Chancellor Designate, Queen’s University Belfast

Richard Kirk

Regional Director, Institution of Civil Engineers

Professor Gordon Matheson

Visiting Professor and Consultant, Institute for Future Cities, University of Strathclyde

Robin Totten

Senior Programme Manager, Belfast Rapid Transit and Head, Business Change, Translink

Didar Dhillon

Partner, Pinsent Masons

Stephen Wallace

Associate Director, KPMG Belfast

Senior speaker confirmed from CBI

Deborah Colville

Manager, Smart Cities Portfolio, Belfast City Council

Dr Norman Apsley

Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst

Allen Irwin

Major Deals Lead, Wholesale, BT