Belfast Telegraph

Minister hails City Deal during Belfast visit

By Mark Edwards

A City Deal for Belfast is a "crucial opportunity" for the region to create economic growth in some of the most deprived areas.

Sinn Fein councillor Jim McVeigh was speaking after Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid visited Belfast yesterday.

He said the City Deal could improve infrastructure and help the poorest people.

Mr McVeigh said: "A 10-year City Deal should focus on driving economic development in areas that have suffered under the weight of relentless Tory cuts, and are yet to share in the benefits of economic growth visible in other areas of Belfast.

"Sinn Fein welcomes this potential major investment program, and urges that it prioritises inequalities and deprivation in Belfast to give meaningful economic opportunities to everyone in our city."

Mr Javid's visit follows an announcement in the Autumn Budget that the Government will open negotiations for a Belfast region City Deal.

The initiative is aimed at creating jobs, improving skills, growing new business, increasing opportunities for inward investment and improving collaboration between councils and local government.

Mr Javid was greeted by Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister at Belfast City Hall before visiting the recently opened Immersive Tech Hub.

He later tweeted: "Thrilled to visit Belfast today to hear how a City Deal that brings together private and public sectors could help to unlock huge economic potential of Belfast City Region. I love this city."

Mr Javid also attended an event at Catalyst Inc, where he met representatives from the six councils to discuss plans for the City Deal.

Belfast Telegraph

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