Skip to main content
Published - June 2024

Performance Improvement Plan 2024 - 2025

Improvement objective 5: Our economy

In addition to the specifics set out below, we will stimulate inclusive growth and innovation, help businesses to start-up and grow and create opportunities for more and better jobs and employment by delivering our normal programme of work contained within the Belfast Agenda 2024-28, draft Corporate Plan 2024-28, committee plans and supporting departmental and business plans.

Improvement objective 5

We will stimulate inclusive growth and innovation, help businesses to start-up and grow and create opportunities for more and better jobs and employment.

Why is this an improvement objective?

  • Aligned to the outcomes, priorities, strategic intents, and actions identified within the Belfast Agenda 2024-28 and draft Corporate Plan 2024-28. 
  • Council is committed to ensuring that Belfast has a thriving and prosperous economy that is a hub for businesses and provides diverse employment opportunities for our population.
  • Supporting innovation at all levels will help deliver the promise of Belfast’s economic potential and position it as a driver for prosperity and growth across the region.
  • Delivering inclusive growth is a core principle of our organisation as we strive to ensure that the success of the city reaches every citizen.

Relevant strategies, plans and evidence at regional and local level

Regional: A 10X Economy - Northern Ireland’s Decade of Innovation; Innovation Strategy for NI 2014-25, Draft Circular Economy Strategy for Northern Ireland, Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor Action Plan.

Local: Belfast Economic Strategy 2022-30, Belfast Inclusive Growth Strategy, Belfast Region City Deal, SMART Belfast - Belfast Urban Innovation Framework 2022 – 26, Belfast City Council Social Value Procurement Policy.

Alignment to the Belfast Agenda and corporate plan 

Belfast Agenda outcome: Belfast is a place where everyone benefits from a thriving and prosperous economy.

Belfast Agenda and corporate plan theme: Our Economy – Creating inclusive and sustainable growth, learning and opportunity.

Belfast Agenda and corporate plan priorities: Jobs and skills; Sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Statutory aspect of improvement 
  • Strategic effectiveness
  • Service quality, availability, and fairness
  • Sustainability
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation

We will: 

  • Procure goods and services in accordance with our Social Value Procurement Policy (SVPP) to maximise the economic, social, and environmental impact of our expenditure.
  • Implement a new finance system to reduce costs, improve compliance and support suppliers.
  • Work with partners to identify and deliver employment and upskilling academies in priority sectors in line with industry demand.
  • Extend commitment from businesses to the Belfast Business Promise (BBP) to increase the number of businesses committed to implementing inclusive business practices.
  • Work with the Enterprise Support Service to deliver ‘Go Succeed’ to increase the number of new business starts.
  • Support digital innovation by:
    • Delivering the Augment the City SME challenge competition.
    • Developing Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDE) Grants projects with UU and QUB University Centres of Excellence.
    • Developing a regional Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) challenge competition programme.
    • Delivering the Belfast Region 5G Innovation Regions programme.
    • Supporting the Belfast Sejong Innovation Twins programme. 

Our measures of success for 2025 include:

  • Increasing the % of council contracts (over £30k value) where SVPP has been applied to 40%.
  • Paying 95% of invoices within 30 calendar days.
  • Paying 80% of invoices within 10 working days.
  • Supporting 75% of participants to move into a positive outcome from an Employment or Upskilling Academy.
  • Signing up a minimum of 50 companies to the BBP pledge.
  • Promoting jobs through business start-up activity, i.e., completing 325 business plans (statutory indicator).
  • Engaging 425 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to support digital innovation.
  • Issuing £100,000 of funding to up to 10 companies to develop ideas, proof of concepts and prototypes using immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality to enhance visitor attractions.
  • Investing over £1,500,000 to accelerate the development of innovative 5G solutions.
Read aloud icon Read aloud