Belfast set to become world class digital city after £13.7 million funding boost
20 September 2012
Belfast City Council has described today`s announcement that the city is to receive £13.7 million from the Westminster Government`s Urban Broadband Fund as a catalyst for economic development which will provide a major boost to the infrastructure of the city.
The total investment will be nearly £25 million as the City Council will invest £3 million, as part of its investment programme, while the private sector will provide a further £8 million towards the Super-connected Cities Programme.
Councillor Deirdre Hargey, chairman of the council`s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said that it has the potential to be the catalyst for foreign investment, new jobs and major improvements in quality of life for citizens with Belfast set to become a world class digital city by 2015.
Only London has received a higher city award than Belfast and is the only city to receive the full award that it bid for.
Councillor Deirdre Hargey, chairman of the council`s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said:
Today`s announcement is the result of an incredible amount of work in a short space of time. It has been a real team effort across the city with a range of partners in the private and public sector and Belfast City Council could not have put this bid together without their support.
This is one of the most significant announcements for Belfast and the wider regional economy for some time and is a real game-changer as it will provide a world class digital infrastructure that will attract major foreign investment, create jobs, and provide a platform for local business start ups. It also brings major benefits for communities, residents, tourists and public sector organisations.
Belfast is one of 10 UK cities to successfully bid for funding, made available by the Department of Culture Media and Sport, to become a super-connected city by 2015.
The 10 successful cities have each been told the amount available for their city. The allocations to each city are:
Leeds & Bradford (joint bid) £14.4m
Super-connected Belfast is running as part of Belfast City Council`s Investment Programme for 2012-2015. Projects which the council will deliver over the next three years which are closely related to aims and objectives of super-connected Belfast include:
£4 million digital hub working with Invest NI to promote digital technology based enterprise in the city;
£10 million Girdwood Community Hub EU PEACE III funded project to create a new community hub facility;
£8 million Innovation Centre at Springvale;
£8 million economy business park a green business park on the North Foreshore;
£20 million extension to the Belfast Waterfront an integrated convention and exhibition centre.
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