Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Louise McLornan, Democratic Services Officer  x6077

No. Item




Apologies for inability to attend were reported from Councillors Boyle, Mullan and Walsh.





            The minutes of the meeting of 7th March were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 9th April.



Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were recorded.





            The Chairperson welcomed Mr. John Greer to his first meeting of the Committee following his recent appointment as the Director of Economic Development.





Oxford Innovation Limited and Performance Update pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:


            The Chairperson advised the Committee that Ms. Anna McDonnell, Centre Manager at the Innovation Factory, and Dr. Majella Barkley, Innovation Director at Oxford Innovation, were in attendance and they were welcomed to the meeting.


            Ms. McDonnell explained to the Committee that the Innovation Factory (IF) was the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, and that it was a £9.1million investment by the Council, Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund.  She outlined the outcomes for the Innovation Factory, which included accelerating business innovation and growth, attracting inward investment from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and stimulating further development.


            The Members were advised that the IF provided small businesses and start-ups with a flexible space to work and grow.  She explained that a one size fits all approach did not work and that they therefore offered shared and  private offices, virtual office packages, co-working membership, a business lounge, meeting and conference space and business innovation and growth services.


            She stated that Oxford Innovation had been managing Innovation Centres for thirty years and managed a network of 24 centres throughout England.  In relation to the sector mix of customers in the Belfast IF, she outlined that the majority were from the creative/digital and the financial/professional services sectors.


            The Committee was advised that they had achieved a higher occupancy rate than they had targeted and that they were on target to reach 55% occupancy by the end of 2018.  Ms. McDonnell also highlighted that the Innovation Factory’s income was 7% ahead of the end of year target.


            Dr. Barkley provided the Committee with an overview of the Innovation Factory’s performance during 2017/2018, where it had exceeded all targets, and also of its targets for 2018/2019.  She also provided the Members with examples of successful customers which had grown their business ideas with the help of the Innovation Factory.


            A number of Members stated that they had visited the Innovation Factory and that they were very impressed with the building and with the Factory’s performance so far.


            The Chairperson thanked the representatives for their attendance and they retired from the meeting.


            The Committee noted the performance of the Innovation Factory since its opening in September 2016 and agreed the direction of travel for the 2018/2019 business plan which was presented by Oxford Innovation.



Restricted Item


City Animation and Meanwhile Projects


            The Director of City Centre Regeneration and Development provided the Committee with an overview of proposals to animate the city centre, and the intention to proceed with a procurement process for organisations to deliver projects at locations in Castle Street and its environs and in North Street.  She outlined that the Council would also seek to coordinate with other similar projects at Hope Street and the Titanic Quarter


            During discussion, a number of Members suggested ideas which the officers could consider.


            The Committee:


1.     noted the ongoing activity to deliver city animation projects in the city centre by the Council and other bodies; and

2.     agreed the approach set out in the report, and that officers would proceed with the procurement of organisations to deliver city animation projects at Castle Street and its environs and North Street.



Request to Present


Project Hope and Transport Hub Alternatives Group pdf icon PDF 86 KB


            The Committee acceded to requests from Project Hope and the Transport Hub Alternatives Group to present at a future meeting.



Growing Businesses and the Economy


Working and Learning - Update pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Additional documents:


            (Mrs. L. Toland, Head of Economic and International Development, attended in connection with this item)


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to seek approval for the proposed programme of work to be delivered in the current financial year as part of the Committee’s ambitions to support delivery of the targets under two of the pillars of the Belfast Agenda: Working and Learning and Growing the Economy.  The work programme is in line with the direction of travel which was presented to and approved by this Committee on 7 March 2018, as well as input from Members into the Employability and Skills proposals as part of the Committee workshop on 21 February 2018.  If all targets are met, this activity will support the creation of 1664 jobs.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


-       Approve the 2018/19 Work Plan to support the delivery of the Working and Learning and Growing the Economy strands of the Belfast Agenda, as set out in sections 3.4-3.10 and detailed in Appendix 1 (available on

-       Approve applications to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for new programme activity including the Kick Start Programme, Digital Transformation Programme, Go Social Programme and Procurement Support Programme as detailed on

-       Agree to the development of partnership structures within the Working and Learning work streams for Employability & Skills to facilitate the delivery of priority actions where there is alignment of purpose and where there is an opportunity to share resources, therefore increasing ability to achieve outcomes more cost-efficiently.


3.0       Main Report


3.1       Members will recall that, on 7 March 2018, a paper was presented to this Committee identifying the priority activities to be delivered in 2018/2019 as part of the Committee’s ambitions to support the delivery of the targets under two of the pillars of the Belfast Agenda: Working and Learning and Growing the Economy. At that Committee, it was agreed that a follow-up paper would be presented to the April 2018 meeting of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee outlining specific details of activities. This report contains a series of more detailed propositions to secure Member approval for the work programme for the coming financial year.  A summary of the key work streams, along with associated programmes, outcomes and assigned budgets for the 2018/19 financial year is available to view on


3.2       As detailed in the March 2018 Committee Report, our investments continue to be driven by the principle of Inclusive Growth and underpinned by a series of guiding principles.  In terms of Inclusive Growth, in practice this means:


-       Building linkages with employers that are committed to providing opportunities for long-term unemployed/economically inactive and supporting career progression

-       Providing up-skilling support for those already in work – especially those in entry-level roles

-       Ensuring that regeneration activity benefits local communities in terms of job creation, improvement in public realm and training opportunities

-       Addressing barriers to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6a


Regenerating Places and Improving Infrastructure


Inner North West Masterplan Update pdf icon PDF 118 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to update Members on the ongoing Inner North West masterplan consultation and highlight the relationship to other workstreams including the Car Parking Strategy, Local Development Plan and City Centre Living.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       Members are asked to:


-       note the consultation process for the draft Inner North West masterplan that is currently underway and will conclude on 8 May 2018;

-       note the relationship between the INW and other work underway across the council and also with partners.



3.0       Main report


3.1       Background


            Members are aware that the consultation for the Inner North West (INW) masterplan commenced on 13 February 2018 and will run until 8 May 2018. As outlined previously to committee, the Masterplan seeks to provide a framework to help shape emerging opportunities and ensure a more comprehensive approach to development on both public and private sector owned land.  The Inner North West Masterplan is underpinned by robust urban design principles that will help shape proposals coming forward.


3.2       The INW Masterplan seeks to facilitate a new city centre mixed neighbourhood that:


·        incorporates a mix of uses, including residential, commercial, retail and leisure, all integrated through a strong and cohesive public realm;

·        takes into consideration the heritage of the area and the historic urban grain;

·        reinstates the historically vibrant economy of the Inner North West area;

·        promotes ‘city centre living’, with its social and environmental benefits;

·        strengthens the city centre’s urban fabric and streetscapes;

·        supports and strengthens pedestrian connections within the city centre and to/from adjoining neighbourhoods;

·        delivers the ambitions of the Belfast Agenda, in line with the Local Development Plan


3.3       Engagement to date


            Targeted pre-consultation work in September 2017 and the workshop with Members in November 2017 informed both the final consultation document and council’s approach to engagement. During the current formal 12-week consultation period council is seeking to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders in this area of the city, including residents, businesses, statutory partners and developers.  


3.4       A focus on engaging with existing residents in the INW is an important feature of this consultation. Letters have been sent to each household advising them of the consultation, and residents were invited to participate on a walk-about of the masterplan area.  The consultation drop-in venues are located across the INW area to further encourage participation from local residents.


3.5       The scheduled consultation activities are as follows:


·        Drop-in session in Smithfield Market,14 February

·        Drop- in session in Smithfield Market, 15 February

·        Drop-in session in Berry St Presbyterian Church with evening presentation, 21 February

·        Presentation to the Section 75 Consultative Forum, 27 February

·        Drop-in session in CastleCourt, 27 February

·        Presentation to the Campus Community Regeneration Forum, 27 February

·        Drop-in session in St Patrick’s Church, 7 March

·        Drop-in session St Patrick’s Church, 10 March

·        Meeting with Ulster Reform Club, 15 March

·        Residents’ walk-about, 21 March

·        Presentation to Shared City Partnership, 9 April

·        Presentation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7a


Residents' Car Parking Zones pdf icon PDF 112 KB


            The Director of City Centre Regeneration and Development provided the Committee with an update in relation to the Motion on problem parking which it had considered at its meeting on 7th February.


            She reminded the Committee that it had agreed, in conjunction with the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), to engage with those communities which bounded the city centre.


            She advised the Committee that the DfI had acknowledged the parking issues around the residential areas which bounded the city centre and had welcomed the Members’ approach to providing solutions.


            The Committee noted that the Department was currently installing a Residents’ Parking scheme in the Rugby Road/College Park Avenue area of South Belfast, with 117 parking spaces for residents and 119 pay and display parking spaces for residents and businesses.  The Members were advised that short stay parking spaces on Rugby Road and a loading bay in Carmel Street would facilitate local businesses.


            The Director suggested that a panel of Members would meet with the DfI to discuss the issues of problem parking, with the following proposed agenda:


·        DfI to update on status of current Residents Parking Schemes and provide background (issues/success/lessons learnt);

·        DfI to outline the process for the establishment of Resident Parking Schemes;

·        Group discussion to identify and agree problem areas to be targeted; and

·        Group discussion to establish Community Engagement Strategy and outline timeframes.


            The Committee agreed that a Panel, comprising one Member from each of the six main parties, be convened to meet with the Department for Infrastructure.



Positioning Belfast to Compete


MIPIM pdf icon PDF 128 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       To report on the outcomes of Belfast at MIPIM 2018 and seek approval to attend MIPIM 2019.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


·        Note the outcomes from Belfast at MIPIM 2018 including the programme of events and media coverage generated.

·        Authorise officers to scope out options for re-positioning the Belfast stand at MIPIM 2019 to an area of higher footfall and / or increasing size of stand in current location.

·        Approve, in principle, that the existing £60,000 investment be enhanced by £20,000 to enable a larger stand to be provided, subject to officers presenting more detailed proposals at a later Committee.

·        Authorise officers to commence procurement for specialist support for programming, event management, communications, and design.

·        Approve attendance at MIPIM 2019 by the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, or their nominated representatives.

·        Approve the attendance of a number of senior officers at MIPIM 2019 to promote Belfast through the delivery of presentations, meetings with potential investors and presentations of regeneration schemes.



3.0       Main report


3.1       MIPIM is the premier event in the European real estate calendar where many of the world’s investors, developers and funders from both the private and public sector, gather to showcase cities and investment and regeneration opportunities. Over 27,000 people attended MIPIM 2018.


3.2       Belfast at MIPIM Delegation


            A delegation of over 80 people attended MIPIM as part of the Belfast delegation. This was made up of 35 supporting private and public sector organisations. In total, £269,825 private sector sponsorship was raised for Belfast at MIPIM 2018. This is an increase from £240,350 of private sponsorship in 2017.


3.3       Organisations supporting Belfast at MIPIM 2018 included: Arup; Aurora Prime Real Estate; Belfast City Council; Belfast Harbour; Benmore Developments; Bruceshaw; Bywater Properties; Carson McDowell; Castlebrooke; Causeway Asset Management; CBRE; Cundall; Davidson McDowell; Deloitte; Heron Bros; Invest NI; Killultagh Estates; KPMG; Lacuna Developments; Lanyon Communications; Mascott; McAleer & Rushe; Mills Selig; Press Eye; Queen’s University Belfast; Richland Group; Signature Living; Sirocco; Titanic Quarter; TLT; TODD Architects; Tourism NI, Translink; Tughans and; Ulster University.


3.4       Belfast at MIPIM programme


            The 4-day event conference involved a concentrated programme of events, meetings and engagements which allowed us to showcase Belfast as an exciting location for investment. The Belfast at MIPIM 2018 Programme included:


·        15 unique events organised by Belfast at MIPIM. Each event was designed to highlight a range of key strengths that underpin Belfast’s strong investment proposition, including: Talent, Tax, Technology & Innovation, Locations, Fast Growth Sectors, Track Record for FDI and Quality of Life. Topics covered included:


-       Creating and shaping city neighbourhoods

-       Innovative thinking: Belfast - back to our future

-       Belfast: why culture matters

-       Belfast: accelerating growth with Eddie Irvine (ex. Ferrari formula one driver; real estate and technology investor – at no cost)

-       Real estate investor showcases. Projects presented included Belfast Waterside Regeneration Project, Giant’s Park, Titanic Quarter, the former Belfast Telegraph building, Weavers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8a


European Capital of Culture Legacy Programme pdf icon PDF 125 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to update Members on the status of the European Capital of Culture 2023 designation and to outline a planned programme of activity to support the development of an alternative legacy initiative.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       It is recommended that Members:


-       Note the contents of this report and agree that the budget set aside for the development of stage 2 of European Capital of Culture competition is now utilised for the development of a cultural legacy programme, which can be delivered with or without the designation of European Capital of Culture.

-       Agree to receive a further report in due course that sets out a detailed legacy programme and funding strategy for approval in line with the funding strategy for European Capital of Culture as part of the legacy programme

-       Agree for officers to develop a partnership project with Galway 2020, as part of the legacy programme to be brought back to Committee for approval.


3.0       Main report


3.1       Background


            Members will be aware that Belfast City Council in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council developed and submitted in October 2017 a stage one application for the 2023 designation of European Capital of Culture. In November 2017, in advance of the formal presentation of the bid to the jury panel, all bidding cities were notified by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) of the European Commission’s decision that the UK would no longer to be eligible to host the competition.


3.2       Since November 2017, officers have been in regular discussions with DCMS and the other bidding cities to seek a satisfactory resolution to the situation. From the outset, the position of all bidding cities was that the preferred outcome of these discussions should be the reinstatement and completion of the competition. However, in March 2018 the other cities together with DCMS, reached the conclusion that further participation in the existing UK competition in its current form was no longer viable given the timeframe and the position maintained by the European Commission.


3.3       A delegation from Belfast City Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council travelled to Brussels to meet with the European Commission. Meetings were also held with representatives from the Committee for Regions and the UK Permanent Representation to the EU. These meetings further confirmed that pursuing the 2023 UK competition for European Capital of Culture was no longer an option. The delegation also sought clarity over current status and eligibility criteria for European funding programmes for cultural activity. Officers have agreed to follow up with relevant authorities to seek written clarification to these queries. They are also pursuing all potential avenues for Belfast City Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council to be awarded the title at any stage going forward.


3.4       The decision to bid for European Capital of Culture recognised the significant economic and social benefits derived  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8b


Heathrow Expansion pdf icon PDF 87 KB


            The Director of Economic Development outlined to the Committee that, in October 2016, the UK Government had approved a third runway at Heathrow Airport.  He explained to the Members that the expansion of Heathrow would be one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK.


            He advised the Members that, in recognition of the scale of investment and the potential for all parts of the UK to benefit from supply chain and skills development opportunities, Heathrow had sought expressions of interest for up to four Logistics Hub locations. 


            The Committee was advised that these Logistics Hubs would be used as off-site centres for construction and manufacturing in order to help the airport to deliver its expansion plan with minimal on-site disruption.


            The Director explained that, from an initial 121 applications, 65 potential sites had been shortlisted, with six of the sites located in Northern Ireland:


·        North Foreshore – Belfast;

·        Global Point Business Park – Antrim and Newtownabbey;

·        Belfast International Airport – Antrim and Newtownabbey;

·        Former Michelin Site – Mid and East Antrim;

·        Silverwood Business Park – Lurgan; and

·        Former Shackleton Barracks – Ballykelly.


            In order to improve the chances of the bid, the Director explained that the partners had identified that a collaborative proposition involving all six NI sites as part of a ‘fully packaged solution’ was likely to be favoured over individual, stand-alone site solutions. 


            He explained also that, in order to develop the business case for the combined bid, it was proposed that each council involved would contribute up to £10,000 for each site to access specialist advice and consultancy support.  The Committee was advised that this would enable the submission to be made by the closing date, in November 2019.


            In parallel with the work on the Logistics Hub joint bid, the Director outlined that the Council would host a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in the City Hall on 20th June, 2018, which would enable local businesses to meet with key buyers in Heathrow, focusing on existing supplies and services requirements.


            The Committee agreed to set aside a maximum of £10,000 to contribute to the Business Case development work as part of a combined NI bid for the Heathrow Logistics Hub.



EU World Cities Project pdf icon PDF 117 KB


            (Ms. C. McKeown, Sustainable Development Manager, attended in connection with this item)


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report


1.1       To update Committee on the progress of the EU World Cities project.  This is an international urban sustainable development exchange project between the cities of Durban (eThekwini Municipality) and Belfast, with the ultimate aim of developing closer international relations and fostering trade.


1.2       The paper summarises the success of the exchange of learning to date and proposes areas of possible future collaboration which could be considered within a draft Memorandum of Understanding to be discussed at the final project meeting in May 2018 (the MOU was a project commitment agreed in March 2017).


1.3       The partnership and collaboration to date has been highlighted by DG REGIO as exemplary and was presented at the UN Habitat World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur in February 2018. This was a unique opportunity to raise the international profile of Belfast City Council on the global stage. As a result of the success of this project both cities have been invited to apply for further funding to continue the successful collaboration for next 12-18 months from the EU South Africa Policy Dialogue.


1.4       Invest NI have worked closely with the Council on this project. One of the outcomes of the Belfast Durban collaboration is the identification of new NI export business opportunities and knowledge transfer emerging in the renewable energy, waste management and smart technology sectors in the cities of Johannesburg / Durban and Cape Town.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to:


·        Note the success of the collaboration between Durban and Belfast to date and, in particular that it was invited to present to the World Urban Forum UN Habitat in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 16 February 2018.


·        Agree the areas of mutual collaboration on urban sustainability challenges which will inform the draft Memorandum of Understanding (a commitment in the initial project).


·        Note that Officers were invited to apply for further funding to the EU South Africa Policy Dialogue to further foster business and government links on smart sustainable technology for mutual benefit (closing date 28th March 2018)


·        Consider the makeup of the outward delegation of 3 people to Durban and Cape Town on 13-17th May for the final conference.


3.0       Main Report


3.1       Background


            World Cities ( is a project of the European Union managed and 100% funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO). The project supports the exchange of information, experience and best practice on smart urban sustainability challenges and was initiated by the Council’s Smart City Team.


3.2       There is a particular focus on developing the green economy, sharing expertise on energy security, sustainable mobility, circular economy and associated smart city solutions that stimulate innovation, and new business starts up etc. These areas are at the heart of the Belfast Agenda and are key to economic progress as we open up new opportunities for smart sustainable growth in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8d


Strategic and Operational Issues


Committee Plan 2018-2019 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:


            The Chief Executive reminded the Committee that it had held a workshop in February 2018 to focus on its priority areas of work for the year ahead, particularly in relation to Employability and Skills and City Centre Development.  She outlined that the draft Committee Plan had been drawn up to help maximise the Committee’s role in delivering on the ambitions within the Belfast Agenda, namely, that by 2035:


·        our economy would support 46,000 additional jobs;

·        our city was home to 66,000 more people;

·        there would be a 33% reduction in the life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived neighbourhoods; and

·        every young person leaving school would have a destination which would fulfil their potential.


            She explained that the engagement with Members had helped to build officers’ understanding of the key issues to lead to more informed decision-making on how to best allocate the Council’s resources.


            The Committee was advised that, during the workshop, there had been general support from Members for the direction of travel for the city centre and employability and skills programmes of work.  The Chief Executive explained that a number of Members had emphasised the importance of supporting inclusive growth through economic and city development.


            She highlighted to the Committee that many of the programmes and projects were crosscutting and that there were opportunities to maximise the impact by aligning relevant programmes and actions to areas such as the Smart Belfast Framework and city resilience. 


            The Committee considered the following key programmes and activities, aligned to each of the Belfast Agenda priorities, which were included in the draft 2018/19 Committee Plan:


                  “Growing the Economy

-       Support job creation priorities

-       Shape the development of a Council-wide Inclusive Growth Framework and programme of activities

-       Promotion and marketing of the city internationally, including at MIPIM and the launch of a standalone website promoting investment and development in Belfast

-       Launch  ‘Belfast: City for Business’ concept, along with the new concierge service and further develop opportunities for partnership working

-       Continue to develop the city as a tourist destination, including production of an Outline Business Case for a second world-class visitor attraction

-       International Relations - Further develop Belfast’s Sister City Relationships and continue to build on the relationships with the City of London and with Dublin on the economic corridor


                  City Development

-       Deliver a City Centre Liveability Strategy by pursuing opportunities for City Centre Living, working with public and private sector partners to deliver high-quality mixed-tenure residential accommodation

-       Deliver the City Centre Engagement Plan and improve the capacity of residents and groups to engage in the regeneration and development process

-       Secure full planning permission for the development of the Belfast Telegraph site for a scheme targeted at the professional, creative and tech sectors

-       Implement meanwhile use projects in the city centre, and influence the activity of other partners

-       Work with partners to influence key developments in the city e.g. UU campus, Transport Hub, Belfast Streets Ahead, Hope Street, York Street  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9a