Date: 09 Aug 2023
A range of ambitious new targets to improve Belfast and tackle current issues have been included in the Belfast Agenda, the city’s key strategic plan.
The Belfast Agenda was first published in 2017, setting out a joint vision for the city up to 2035. With significant economic, social and environmental changes in recent years, it has been reviewed and updated to reflect residents’ current priorities. A public consultation has now opened so that people can have their say on the draft plans.
City partners have agreed to deliver a significant programme of collaborative actions by 2027 to improve the economy, regenerate the city, achieve climate targets and support the city’s people and communities, including the most vulnerable.
Plans for the next four years aim to reduce chronic homelessness by five percent annually, reduce the number of children living in poverty by 3,000, increase the number of business start-ups by 25%, reduce the economic inactivity rate by 5%, build 6,000 new homes and plant 150,000 trees across the city.
Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Ryan Murphy said: “We have come a very long way as a city since 2017 when the Belfast Agenda was first published. In that period, businesses have invested over £1.2 billion in the city, over 14,000 new jobs have been created, the number of businesses has increased by almost 12 per cent, and 6,500 additional people are now living in Belfast.
“However, with Belfast declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the global impacts of Covid-19, significant local and international political change and the current cost-of-living crisis, it is clear that we’re in a challenging period. City partners have therefore worked very closely together and engaged with residents to refresh our priorities and refocus our resources.
“We’re now carrying out a final public consultation on the updated Belfast Agenda and action plan to make sure we have got it right. I would encourage everyone to find out more and give their feedback before the strategy and action plan are finalised.”
There are 13 statutory community planning partners in Belfast who co-designed the Belfast Agenda, with significant input from the city’s further and higher education institutions, the community and voluntary sector and representatives of the private sector.
Statutory partners include Belfast City Council, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, Education Authority, Invest NI, Libraries NI, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Public Health Agency, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Sport NI and Tourism NI.
A public consultation on the draft strategy and action plan has now opened and runs until 2 October. To find out more and give your views, visit yoursay.belfastcity.gov.uk