Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Carolyn Donnelly, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item




Apologies for inability to attend were reported on behalf of Councillors Beattie and McLaughlin.




            The minutes of the meeting of the Committee of 11th May were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 1st June.



Declarations of Interest


Councillor McCabe declared an interest in that, she was an employee of Feile an Phobail.





Renewed Ambition Partnership


            The Chairperson welcomed Ms. J. Dobson, Useful Projects, Mr. J. O’Neill, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, Mr. J. Eyre, Titanic Quarter, and Ms. K. Doran, Lanyon Communications, to the meeting.


            Ms. Dobson outlined the case for change, a shared ambition for a built environment that would deliver more and enhance communities, sustain the environment and provide a springboard for economic growth.  She explained the purpose of the project, which was to deliver research that would demonstrate the positive economic, environmental and social impact that investment in the built environment could deliver and to provide recommendations to realise economic, social and environmental impacts from future investment and development in the Belfast region.


            She pointed out the main objectives of the project were to look back, look locally and further afield and to look to the future.


            She referred to local case studies and to the summary of recommendations, a pathway to inclusive and sustainable development, which included that local councils should continue to drive and support more inclusive and sustainable real estate investment, which could be done through three key levers: to lead by example, influence and invest.


            Ms. Dobson explained the key findings and associated recommendations.


            Mr. O’Neill stated that a mainstream process was required to undertake all major capital projects to deliver the ambition of the report and that it was an opportunity to share best practice and to create a practical tool kit to apply across all projects.  


The Committee agreed to consider the following item

subsequent to the above, associated presentation.


Renewed Ambition Programme Update


The Committee considered the undernoted report, which was accompanied by a presentation delivered by the Director of City Regeneration and Development, Mr. J. Eyre and Mr. J. O’Neill:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1            The purpose of this report is to:


·        Update Members on the Renewed Ambition Partnership Programme for 2022 / 2023 aimed at delivering regeneration, infrastructure and a modern built environment for Belfast and wider City Region.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


                                               I.     Note an update on elements of the programme of work which is being delivered via the Renewed Ambition public-private partnership, including report findings from research which examined the role that the built environment plays in delivering Social, Environmental and Economic benefits to Belfast and the wider Belfast City Region, and update following Belfast’s attendance at UKREiiF – the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum


                                             II.     Note that a presentation will be made at this Committee (by the Chair of the Renewed Ambition Partnership Taskforce and consultants) on the report findings in relation to the role that the built environment plays in delivering Social, Environmental and Economic Benefits including recommendations on how this can be enhanced and maximised going forward for the benefit of the city and wider region. 


                                            III.     Approve entering into contractual arrangements on behalf of the Renewed Ambition Partnership with event organisers for MIPIM 2023, noting that this event will be funded through the existing Renewed Ambition Partnership sponsorship.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Restricted Items



            The information contained in the report associated with the following two items was restricted in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.


      Resolved – That the Committee agrees to exclude the members of the press and public from the meeting during discussion of the following five items as, due to the nature of the items, there would be a disclosure of exempt information as described in Section 42(4) and Section 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.



A Bolder Vision Update


            The Director of City Regeneration and Development provided the Committee with an update on A Bolder Vision, that included the ongoing engagement with Ministers for Communities and Infrastructure, and the ongoing traffic analysis in relation to options for the Donegall Place/Royal Ave section of the Civic Spine.


            She further updated the Committee on the timeframe to complete the Bolder Vision Strategy and Action Plan, and that, a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would form the basis of a framework for collaborative partnership working under A Bolder Vision.


            The Committee:


·        Noted the ongoing engagement with DfC and DfI Ministers and other partners, including the work being undertaken by a DfI consultant focusing on resolving issues on the Civic Spine and Inner Ring Road Key Moves aimed at enabling the design for Belfast Streets Ahead 3 and the Frederick St Junction to progress within the context of the Bolder Vision, to enable the completion of ABV Strategy and Action Plan;

·        Noted the ongoing work on the BCC/DfI/DfC partnership and MoU approach, subject to agreement from all three organisations, and that, this will be brought to Committee at the appropriate time; and

·        Noted the planned BCC/DfI/DfC statement that would follow the proposed Ministerial meeting, anticipated to take place late June/early July and the next steps to bring forward the Bolder Vision Strategy and Action Plan.



Quarterly Zoo Performance Update

Additional documents:


            The Director of Economic Development and the Zoo Manager provided the Committee with an update on the Zoo performance during Quarter 4 (January - March) of the 2021-22 financial year.


            During discussion, the Director of Economic Development agreed to bring a report to a future meeting of the Committee with further detail on the financial performance of the Zoo.


            The Committee:


·        Noted the Zoo performance update report for the period January to March 2022; and

·        Approved the process for dealing with Charitable Requests.



Request to Present


Streetdock pdf icon PDF 268 KB


            The Committee agreed to receive a presentation from Streetdock on an update on its e-cargo delivery pilot that was supported under the Revitalisation Funding, at a future meeting of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee.



Regenerating Places and Improving Infrastructure


Car Parking Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 276 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of City Regeneration and Development reported that it had been proposed that the refresh of the Car Parking Strategy would be postponed until the completion and publication of the Belfast Metropolitan Transport Plan (BMTP) and the adoption of the Belfast LDP Draft Plan Strategy. 


She informed the Committee that an important strand of the Car Parking Strategy and Action Plan (2018) had been to ensure the appropriate provision and location of car parking in the city and that the volume, location and quality of parking in the city was seen as key to its vitality and viability.


She explained that the Car Parking Strategy and Action Plan (2018) outlined a range of actions designed to promote more sustainable travel provision and to address residential parking issues.


She reported that officers had, in preparation for undertaking the refresh of the Car Parking Strategy, considered the statutory processes which had been underway, including the development of the draft Plan Strategy and BMTP, the publication of which would provide direction for all policy approaches to car parking and other transportation issues.


She concluded by stating that officers would continue to implement, monitor and promote the Action Plan as contained within the Car Parking Strategy through the Car Parking Working Group and would provide regular updates to the Committee with regard to the implementation status of the actions.


The Committee:


·        agreed that, the refresh of the Car Parking Strategy would be deferred until after the LDP draft Plan Strategy (dPS) was adopted; and

·        noted that the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) had been considered during the Independent Examination of the (dPS) and that it would be prudent to postpone a refresh of the Parking Strategy to ensure consistency in the policy approach.



Blue and Green Infrastructure Funding: Active Travel Enablers Update pdf icon PDF 217 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


·             To update Members on the progress of the Active Travel Enablers projects supported under the DfI Green and Blue Infrastructure Fund that includes covered cycle stands, cycle repair kits and secured cycle parking provision


·             To note the ongoing engagement with the Department for Infrastructure on future funding for active travel projects


2.0       Recommendations


The Members of the Committee are asked to:


·             Approve the proposed covered cycle stand locations and repair kits as outlined within this report to enable delivery within the timeframes of the Letter of Offer;


·             Approve the recommendation to provide funding to deliver secure cycle stands as identified within this paper


·             Approve the further development and submission of further funding bids to support the delivery of additional secure cycle provision. 


3.0       Main report


3.1       Background


As previously reported to Members, on 2nd February 2022 Council received a Letter of Offer from DfI for capital funding to support Active Travel Enabling Projects in line with the Business Case submitted to the Department. The Letter of Offer for £207,500 of capital funding includes covered cycle parking, secure cycle parking and cycle repair stands.  Originally DfI required spend by the end of March, however, Council Officers secured agreement from DfI that the funding could be drawn down prior to 31 March and spend to be completed by 30 September 2022. These Active Travel Enablers are aligned to the Bolder Vision as early interventions to bring forward improvements in the active travel provision and infrastructure across the city, utilising our own assets and expanding the capacity of key delivery partners to promote and install enabling infrastructure to increase active travel provision and to address the dominance of car-based infrastructure and usage across the city.


3.2       Covered Cycle Stands


Committee had previously agreed the allocation of £100k from the Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme for the provision of covered cycle stands. Sustrans was appointed by the Council to identify appropriate locations for cycle parking across the city, identifying key attractors and locations aligned with the DfI Belfast Cycle Network. Based on their developed criteria and type of cycle stands, locations were identified and approved for installation as a first phase within this programme. Following a competitive procurement competition, Council appointed Externiture to produce ten covered cycle stands. These units are currently under production and will be installed later this summer in the following locations as agreed by this Committee in September 2021:


·             Gasworks

·             St George’s Market

·             Grosvenor Community Centre

·             Shankill Leisure Centre

·             Belmont Park

·             Inverary Community Centre

·             Belfast Zoo

·             Waterworks

·             Belvoir Activity Centre

·             Mark Peters Track


3.3       Members received an update on the DfI funding for the Active Travel Enabling Projects in March 2022 that outlined the projects, budget and timeframe for delivery by 30th September 2022.  In terms of the covered cycle stands, Officers drew upon priority locations areas as identified by Sustrans, and these locations were also assessed in terms of the deliverability within the timeframe as well  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Growing Business and the Economy


Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Strategy for Belfast pdf icon PDF 360 KB


The Director of Economic Development provided the Committee with an update on the Economic Strategy: Supporting Sustainable and Economic Growth.


He stated that the purpose of the strategy was to respond to opportunities in a timely manner, effectively plan ahead to secure new funds and improve coherence across the range of Council services.  He added that the strategy provided a framework for internal collaboration, focus and prioritisation and facilitated alignment with the work of key partners across the public, private and third sectors.


He explained to the Committee the following objectives of the Economic Strategy:


·        Foster growth of indigenous businesses in Belfast;

·        Establish Belfast as a resilient, net-zero, circular economy;

·        Create new and better jobs in the city;

·        Build and maintain a skills pipeline that addresses the skills gaps;

·        Improve socio-economic inclusion;

·        Grow levels of exports and FDI; and

·        Establish Belfast as a vibrant place to invest, live, work and play.


            He concluded by outlining the next steps, that included strategic engagement with key partners, public consultation, reshaping internal workplans and establishing management and governance arrangements.


            In response to a request from a Member, the Director of Economic Development agreed to include regular Party Group Briefing meetings on the Economic Strategy.


            The Committee:


·        Noted the progress to date, in the development of the Economic Strategy to support sustainable and inclusive growth in Belfast for the period 2022-2030;

·        Endorsed the draft vision, objectives and emerging policy actions and advise on any suggested amendments in advance of the planned public consultation exercise; and

·        Noted the ongoing work to develop activities that would be consistent with the emerging vision and objectives of the strategy; and

·        Agreed associated budget allocations, which included £45,000 towards the Social Enterprise Incentive Fund.



Positioning Belfast to Compete pdf icon PDF 302 KB

Additional documents:


Update on City Imagining and Make Yourself at Home


            The Committee considered the undernoted 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 the delivery of two recent strategies, Make Yourself at Home and City Imagining. The report specifically updates members on:


-        Development work and concept a year of culture with the working title Belfast Imagining


-        Progress on Neighbourhood Tourism and approval for continuation funding


-        Update on major events including overview of future commissioning model


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


-        Note the principles, concept and work related to the development of a year of culture, Belfast Imagining and agree to receive future reports as this work develops further.


-        Note the progress on the development of a Neighbourhood Tourism investment framework and timeline for the introduction of that framework.


-        Agree the funding of £37,500 to each of the two partners within the existing `City Connections’ programme totalling £75,000 to provide security and the continuation of this work until the Neighbourhood Tourism Investment framework is active. To note the requested monies are within exiting departmental budgets and requires no additional monies.


-        Note the findings from the evaluation of 2022 St. Patricks Day events and the proposed future commissioning model and the development approach to the Maritime Festival.


-        Agree that a full bid is submitted for Belfast to host the Fleadh Ceoil and to receive future reports.


3.0       Main report


3.1       At its meeting on 6th April 2022 members were provided with the final version of the `Make Yourself at Home’ 10 year tourism strategy and approved its adoption as a council strategy. The strategy aims to double the value of tourism in the city and work with city partners to enhance and develop coherent authentic tourism offers, marketing and visitor servicing. The Make Yourself at Home strategy is designed to align to the ten-year cultural strategy, A City Imagining, in order to ensure that tourism development supports cultural development and is based upon an authentic and sustainable Belfast offer.


3.2       At this committees meetings in March and April members approved the 22/23 workplan for both strategies. Those workplans contained a number of initiatives to be delivered within this financial year. These activities are interrelated and are designed to equip the city to deliver on a core ambition of `A City Imagining’ - to deliver our home-grown year of culture to build capacity and ambition in our creative sector whilst placing Belfast on the map internationally as a culturally vibrant destination that will assist our cultural, tourism and hospitality recover and create more and better jobs. 


Belfast Imagining


3.3       As laid out in the cultural strategy the ambitions of an upscaled year of culture will directly deliver on all 4 strategic themes and their associated priorities – A City Belonging, A City Challenging, A City Creating and a City Exploring – including:


-        Long-term capacity building and ensuring sustainability of the cultural sector


-        City-wide  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Strategic & Operational Issues


Notice of Motion - Quarterly Report pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the quarterly update on the Notices of Motion that the City Growth and Generation Committee was responsible for.


            The Committee:


·        Noted the updates to all Notices of Motion that the Committee was responsible for; and

·        Agreed to the recommended closure of the following two Notices of Motion:

i)       Belfast Bikes - Pilot Scheme to use Rolloe; and

ii)      Air Passenger Duty.



City Growth and Regeneration Committee - End of Year Report (2021-22) and Committee Plan (2022-23) pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues


1.1       To provide an end of year progress update (Appendix 1) on the key actions contained in the 2021-22 City Growth and Regeneration (CG&R) Committee Plan, as agreed by this Committee in June 2021.


1.2       To present to Committee the draft City Growth & Regeneration Committee Plan for 2022-23 (Appendix 2).


2.0       Recommendations


            The Committee is asked to:


·        Note the content of the end of year report; and

·        Approve the new draft City Growth and Regeneration Committee Plan for 2022-2023.


3.0       Main Report


3.1       The 2021-2022 Committee Plan and the draft Plan for 2022-23 were both developed in the context of the Council’s Corporate Plan and the Belfast Agenda. Consequently, the Committee Plan contains the commitments within the Corporate Delivery Plan, which fall under the remit of the Committee, plus additional deliverables that have been agreed by CG&R Committee and are relevant to the Standing Orders of the Committee.  The Plan sets out the main priorities and programmes of work that the Committee is overseeing to maximise the Council’s contribution to the Belfast Agenda and delivering a sustainable and inclusive recovery.


3.2       Whilst the CG&R Committee have a role to play across a number of the Belfast Agenda themes, the focus for this Committee has been on City recovery and reopening. Work has also continued to deliver on longer term plans for the city, with key priorities that will help the people and businesses of Belfast continue to respond to, and recover from, the economic impact of the pandemic while also shaping the future development and sustainability of the city. 



3.3       Committee Plan Progress 2021-22


            While the Committee has received regular updates on progress for specific programmes and initiatives, Appendix 1 sets out an overview of progress against the main commitments in the Committee Plan 2021-2022, with examples highlighted below:


·        Delivery of £4.039m DfC Covid-19 Revitalisation Programme including the award-winning Belfast Entries programme.

·        Continuing to develop A Bolder Vision Strategy with DfC and DfI including the completion of the public consultation exercise.

·        The acquisition of two heritage buildings, one as the site for the flagship Belfast Stories project and 2 Royal Avenue with delivery of subsequent meanwhile use.

·        Securing additional funding for active travel enabling infrastructure, Belfast Entries Phase 2 and development of tactical regeneration programmes for the SW Quarter, the 5C’s and Castle Street area.

·        Vacant to Vibrant Programme: includes launch of an EoI to inform the viability of a £700k capital grant scheme for the city centre.

·        Progressing the Strategic Site Assessments Phase 1 and 2, including regeneration concept plans to PAD stage on a number of city centre sites, and the establishment of a joint public sector housing group, as the appropriate vehicle to drive forward Phase 2 though an agreed methodology.

·        Engaged 760 individuals through Enterprise awareness activity supporting them to progress to start a business, including targeted support for 143 women.

·        656 individuals were engaged  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.