The Director of Economic Development advised Members that the purpose of the report was to provide Members of the Committee with a progress update on the Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor (DBEC) and the work on a development plan, strategy and action plan to deliver on the partnership’s objectives.
The Committee considered the following report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues
1.1 The purpose of this report is to provide the Committee with a progress update on the Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor (DBEC) and work on a development plan, strategy and action plan to deliver on the partnership’s objectives.
2.1 The Members of the Committee are asked to
· Note the contents of this report and progress to date to develop the Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor.
3.0 Main report
3.1 At CG&R 12 January 2022 Members were provided with an update on progress to support the development of the Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor including progress on the creation of a development plan and ongoing work on developing a strategy and action plan. Members noted the progress to date and endorsed the developmental plans of the partnership.
3.2 Since the last committee update the Development plan for the partnership has been completed. The strategy and action plan will be finalised in September 2022. Belfast City Council continues to act as lead partner on contract management alongside a project steering group made up of partnership representatives. The work to date has made a number of recommendations to support the ongoing development of the partnership including:
· A phased development timeline up to 2030. In the short term from 2022-2024 priorities include set up of initial partnership personnel, consideration of legal structures, and identification of funding options.
· DBEC should remain an informal partnership model in the short term, together with an MOU, with a view to exploring independent legal status for the partnership in the future. This will be funded initially through council contributions.
· DBEC should be established with a bottom-up governance structure, largely based on the current existing structure. This includes a board of 12 growing to 16 in the long term to include private sector representatives.
· The partnership should be housed at a single location with staff and resources to lead and manage delivery of the partnership aims.
· Key areas of focus should include Research and Development, Trade and Investment, Skills and Infrastructure and Connectivity.
3.3 Stage 2 includes the development of a strategy for the partnership. The strategy aims to articulate a vision for the partnership to enable sustainable economic growth across the region. This part of the project will undertake a review of the economic context and key emerging work areas at a local and regional level and their potential to impact the region, and assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to achieving sustainable economic growth across the region. This will provide an evidence base for action, identifying areas of focus for the partnership to address future opportunities and address any gaps in existing provision.
3.4 Stage 3 includes ... view the full minutes text for item 5