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Urban Digital Futures project prepares young people for a career in digital technology

14 Nov 2017
The ‘Urban Digital Futures’ project, launched today at Belfast City Hall, is set to provide over 900 teachers and local communities in Belfast and Derry~Londonderry with resources and training to help young people develop their digital skills and explore key economic growth sectors and themes underpinning the joint bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2023.

Belfast City Council and the Urban Villages Initiative are working together to connect schools and areas across Belfast and Derry~Londonderry through a programme enhancing the digital capacity of educationalists and those working in the community. This will support them in helping young people develop digital skills.

Post-Primary Schools in Belfast can now apply to take part in activities enabling their students to produce digital content; gain relevant work experience and participate in employer site visits in key growth sectors. From their experiences, they will create digital content to help young people better understand key growth sectors for employment.

Councillor Mairéad O’Donnell, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee said: “This is a very exciting opportunity to develop digital capacity in our schools and communities, and to give young people a deeper insight into the importance of digital technologies to our economy – given the huge growth potential that our creative industries and IT sectors hold.

“We’ll be providing educators and community leaders with face to face training and equipping them with substantive online resources. I can’t wait to see the digital content that they produce. And by engaging our young people in this programme, we’re giving them another way to engage more fully, confidently and safely in all aspects of life online.”

The Urban Villages Initiative is a key action within the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy and is already facilitating participation in the project by primary schools and local groups serving Urban Village areas across both cities. This will include a focus on the European City of Culture theme.

Linsey Farrell, Director of the Urban Villages Initiative commented, “This project will connect schools and young people across Belfast and Derry~Londonderry and build the capacity of teachers and local groups to help young people achieve their full potential. It will help inspire the next generation of creative entrepreneurs and strengthen partnerships between schools and local communities. Children across the areas will also develop digital content to share their feelings and hopes for the places where they live.”

The project will close with two events in spring 2018, showcasing the work produced and the lessons learned. All Post-Primary schools in Belfast can find out more and apply by going to or contacting the council’s Economic Development Unit on 028 9027 0482.

For more information on the ‘Urban Digital Futures’ programme,


And for more information on the #WeAre2023 bid for European Capital of Culture, go to
Urban Digital Futures