City centre regeneration and investment strategy
Our City Centre Regeneration and Investment Strategy outlines an exciting vision to develop a world-class city centre for the future.
A thriving city centre is vital to the prosperity of the whole city and the region. Around two-thirds of all jobs in Belfast are located in and around the city centre, so everything that we do to enhance it will benefit the city as a whole.
The strategy sets out our collective ambition for the continued growth and regeneration of the city core and its surrounding areas to 2030. It has been shaped by extensive engagement with stakeholders and contains a roadmap of policies to guide city centre decision-making and key projects that translate those policies into action.
We are determined that the regeneration of our city centre will drive not just economic growth but social benefits. The strategy therefore includes a commitment to ongoing engagement with local people to ensure that the social impact of regeneration is maximised.
The strategy is based on several core principles. It will aim to:
- increase the employment population
- increase the residential population
- manage the retail offer
- maximise the tourism opportunity
- create a regional learning and innovation centre
- create a green centre, accessible to cyclists and walkers
- connect to the city around
- enhance shared space and social impact
Now that the strategy has been finalised, we need to focus on delivery as we will only realise our aspirations for the city centre by ensuring that the projects, policies and opportunities described are followed through and delivered.
The next step involves working in partnership with the relevant stakeholders and statutory authorities to developing implementation plans including, but not limited to:
- plans for each of the five Special Action Areas
- exploring potential for public realm schemes and enhancing city streets
- furthering regeneration schemes including the North East Quarter
- supporting major projects including the proposed Transport Hub and Belfast Rapid Transit
- consideration of the social impacts of the strategy and development of a social impact plan
- development of a city transport and parking strategy
- creating a plan for the digital and creative sector
- developing a festivals strategy
- creating a cultural plan
Other plans and strategies will also undoubtedly follow, all of which will be shaped by the emerging Belfast Agenda.
City Centre Development Fund
We have now established an £18.77 million City Centre Development Fund which we will use to kick start some projects in partnership with the private sector. The stakeholders from across the city who were central in developing the strategy also have vital roles to play in delivering it. We will therefore continue to work in partnership on its implementation for the benefit of everyone in the city.