Report submitted to the City Growth and Regeneration Committee on 6 November
The Director of Economic Development advised that the report in relation to the Belfast – Dublin Corridor (copy available here) had been considered by the City Growth and Regeneration Committee at its meeting on 6th November. He reported that the Committee had adopted the recommendations to note the outcomes from the research paper undertaken by UU Economic Policy Centre and Dublin City University and endorse the emerging plans for the Belfast-Dublin Economic Corridor, and had agreed the following:
i. that officers inform the other participating councils of the Committee’s request for consideration to be given to including good growth, inclusive growth, housing, just transition and a reduced/zero carbon approach within the priority sectors referred to within paragraph 3.18 (iii) of the report;
ii. that information on the good growth index score for Belfast and for the other regions along the corridor be submitted to a future meeting;
iii. to note the conference which had been scheduled for February 2019 to highlight co-operation opportunities along the corridor would now be delivered as part of an overall work plan; and
iv. that the pre-feasibility study on the potential Belfast - Dublin fast rail link, which had been presented to the Committee on 9th January, be circulated to Members.
He advised that the scope for the quantitative modelling research was subject to agreement by the other Council’s involved in the project and would be considered at a workshop of the Partnership in December.
The Director of Development submitted for the Committee’s consideration the following report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues
1.1 The purpose of this report is to provide the Committee with an update on progress to date on work to support the development of the Belfast-Dublin Economic Corridor and to set out the possible way forward to progress this work.
2.1 The Committee is requested to:
i. note the outcomes from the research paper undertaken by the University of Ulster’s Economic Policy Centre and Dublin City University; and
ii. endorse the emerging plans for the Belfast-Dublin Economic Corridor.
3.0 Main Report
3.1 Members will be aware that Belfast City Council and Dublin City Council have a longstanding working relationship built up over many years and focused principally on issues relating to economic development and city growth.
3.2 More recently, at the Council meeting in May 2018, Councillor McAllister proposed the following motion, which was seconded by Councillor Long and referred to this Committee:
‘This Council acknowledges the ever growing importance of relations between Belfast City and Dublin City as the main economic drivers within each jurisdiction. Furthermore, regardless of the outcome of negotiations around Brexit, it is imperative that relations continue to flourish between both cities, to the mutual benefit of all along this increasingly significant economic corridor. Accordingly, this Council agrees to establish a joint plan around co-operation regarding working relationships within the economic corridor. Going forward, this Council commits to ensuring key areas of progress and collaboration focussing on:
· a complementary approach to inward investment and job growth;
· achieving Inclusive growth; and
· developing Infrastructure and connectivity.’
3.3 In taking this forward, officers have engaged with councils along the economic corridor. A partnership has been established including four councils in Northern Ireland and four in RoI. The council partners are: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council; Belfast City Council; Dublin City Council; Fingal County Council; Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council; Louth County Council; Meath County Council; and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.
3.4 In order to shape the future direction of the partnership and identify economic opportunities along the corridor, Dublin City University and Ulster University were commissioned to carry out research on behalf of the councils.
3.5 The research paper has now been completed. It notes that examples of economic corridors in other locations offer learning for the Belfast-Dublin economic corridor. The key success factor for these locations is the need for a clear articulation of what additional economic growth might arise from the enhanced regional and local inter-governmental collaboration. That means articulating clearly the benefit that will accrue from enhanced levels of engagement over and above what can be expected if partners are to continue to maintain the status quo and pursue their individual economic agendas. Clearly this will involve consideration of physical infrastructure but there are also opportunities for business to business collaboration and enhanced engagement among the research institutions along the corridor.
3.6 The report details the current ... view the full minutes text for item 5