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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Henry Downey, Democratic Services Officer  x6311

Items
No. Item

1a

Apologies

Minutes:

            Apologies for inability to attend were reported on behalf of Councillors Flynn, Garrett, Hanvey, McAllister and McLaughlin. 

 

1b

Minutes

Minutes:

            The minutes of the meeting of 9th September were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 1st October.

 

1c

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

            No declarations of interest were reported.

 

2.

Presentations

2a

Update on Committee Workshop/Belfast City Centre Regeneration and Investment Strategy pdf icon PDF 251 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 5th June, it had agreed a number of headline priorities for the 2019/20 programme of work, which would, amongst other things, assist in delivering the Belfast Agenda and key corporate priorities such as the Belfast City Centre Regeneration and Investment Strategy the Belfast Region City Deal and the Inclusive Growth Framework. The Committee had agreed also that a workshop be held to allow for more detailed discussion to take place around the headline priorities.

 

            The Strategic Director of Place and Economy reported that the workshop had taken place on 25th September and that discussions had focused primarily upon the following areas:

 

·        maximising the Council’s role as convenor and influencing strategic city issues and investments, such as housing, transport, regeneration, connectivity, and open and green shared spaces, to encourage the establish of sustainable city centre living;

 

·        continuing to lobby for the transfer of regeneration powers to local councils;

 

·        building upon strategic partnership working to promote the city’s assets and to realise the opportunities presented by the Belfast Region City Deal;

 

·        the Council’s role as a responsible employer and leading by example;

 

·        delivering a twin track approach to support people into employment and engaging with employers to support upskilling and progression opportunities;

 

·        the need to build strategic relationships with key employers in order to understand how we can help them and they can help us address some of the key city challenges;

 

·        providing tailored and targeted support to enable those who face multiple barriers to employment to benefit from a range of employability and skills support;

 

·        the need to be ambitious in encouraging new businesses to start up and grow in Belfast and to think more radically about the types of support that might help them;

 

·        the increasing importance of tourism to the city’s development and the need to continue to invest, in order to ensure that the city feels the benefit of the tourism growth;

 

·        the need for meaningful and ongoing community engagement for city developments and infrastructure; particularly in terms of established communities and neighbourhoods;

 

·        the benefit of master planning to bring forward coherent urban design;

 

·        the benefit of working with public and private sector partners to provide critical mass in terms of attracting and bringing forward development opportunities which can deliver mixed tenure residential, along with a viable mix of commercial, social enterprise and cultural opportunities;

 

·        exploring the feasibility of alternative options to help address key issues, for example, co-development of housing, a business start-up offer for the Belfast economy, increasing vitality in the city centre and the future role of retail, generating a city centre environment to build communities in which people choose to live; and

 

·        learning from the experience of the Bank Buildings Primark response to inform and manage our approach to intervene and support residents and businesses, for example, in the event of recent redundancies. 

 

            He pointed out that the workshop had proven to be beneficial in that it had enabled Members to gain a deeper understanding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2a

3.

Restricted Items

Minutes:

The information contained in the reports associated with the following two items is restricted in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.

 

            Resolved – That the Committee agrees to exclude the members of the Press and public from the Committee meeting during discussion of the items as, due to the nature of the item, there would be a disclosure of exempt information as described in Section 42(4) and Section 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.

 

3a

Gasworks Northern Fringe Masterplan

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee considered a report which provided an update on the Masterplan for the Gasworks Northern Fringe.


 

 

After discussion, the Committee:

 

                       i.     noted the information contained within the report;

 

                     ii.     noted that an outline planning application for the Gasworks Northern Fringe lands for a comprehensive mixed-use development would be submitted in due course; and

 

                    iii.     noted that a report would on 25th October be submitted to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee seeking its endorsement of a recommendation that the development of the commercial use elements identified on Plots A and D of the Gasworks Northern Fringe be brought forward, aligned with the Council’s emerging inclusive growth framework, as social enterprise, co-operative or community infrastructure schemes and within an agreed timeframe.  

 

3b

City Centre Public Realm Catalyst Projects

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 11th September, it had agreed emerging proposals to bring forward small scale, public realm catalyst projects for three cluster areas, namely Chichester Street/Callender Street, Greater Clarendon/Sailortown and Blackstaff Square and its environs, which could utilise pre-existing developer contributions which had already been received or been agreed through completed planning agreements.

 

            The Senior Development Officer submitted for the Committee’s consideration a report which provided additional information on the design principles upon which the public realm proposals would be based and the process for taking them forward, including engagement with Members and wider stakeholders. The report provided also details of the scope of the proposed project for Chichester Street/Callender Street and sought approval to proceed with the proposal.

 

The Committee:

 

                       i.     approved the scope of the Chichester Street/Callender Street public realm project and agreed to proceed with design development and delivery, in partnership with the Department for Communities, subject to the project costs being approved by the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee;

 

                     ii.     noted the proposals for further engagement in respect of the development of public realm proposals at Blackstaff Square and Greater Clarendon/Sailortown;

 

                    iii.     approved the scope of the emerging Greater Clarendon/Sailortown project and noted that further details would be provided at a future meeting, following initial engineering assessments; and

 

                    iv.     approved the allocation from existing Departmental budgets of £100k towards the design and development of public realm and environmental improvement works. 

 

4.

Growing Business and the Economy

5.

Update on Growing the Economy pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following report:

 

1.0     Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1       The purpose of this report is to provide an update on progress against a series of commitments set out under the Growing the Economy pillar of the Belfast Agenda.  The update is in line with the activity that was approved by the Committee on 6th March, 2019.

 

2.1        Recommendation

 

2.1       The Committee is requested to note the Council’s performance and contribution to delivering against Belfast Agenda ambitions to grow the Belfast economy, focusing on the current support for Business Start-up, Growth and Investment.

 

3.0       Main Report

 

3.1       At its meeting on 6th March, the City Growth and Regeneration Committee approved the delivery of the Growing the Economy work plan for the 2019/20 financial year. Since April 2019, officers have been working on a range of activities to address the challenges around low levels of start-up, innovation, business competitiveness and productivity and ensure that all of our residents are connected to economic opportunities.

 

3.2       This programme of work reflects the commitments of the Inclusive Growth Framework in relation to social enterprise and cooperative development, and in supporting the development of businesses in high growth sectors to create opportunities to connect our residents to the jobs of the future.

 

3.3       With the Enterprise Framework now in place, we have been working in partnership with stakeholders across the city to put in place an Action Plan to 2021.   The framework sets a vision for the city as a great place to start and grow a business. It outlines recommended steps to be taken for Belfast to be ‘recognised for its diverse community of entrepreneurs, who benefit from a comprehensive, planned and coherent system of enterprise support, which fulfils their needs at all stages of the business growth life-cycle’.  Aligned to the thematic priorities of the framework, officers have been working to develop research and intelligence and deliver and further develop the range of support offered by the council.  We have also been working to put in place the foundations required to support us to deliver the service more effectively through the development of a new customer relationship management system, and processes to ensure the support is flexible to meet the needs of the market. 

 

3.4       Whilst work is ongoing to deliver the 2019/20 work plan, the key achievements to date are outlined below.

 

3.5       City for Enterprise

 

            We deliver a range of initiatives which enable individuals including those from traditionally underrepresented groups to explore opportunities to start their own business or consider self-employment as a career path. To date 193 females have been engaged in activities with 72 accessing support through workshops, boot camps, peer support and pitching competitions.  Our outreach and enterprise awareness support will culminate in a week-long series of events and workshops on Global Entrepreneurship Week in November.  During that week, we plan to engage 400 individuals and support them to take positive steps towards starting a business. We are also exploring opportunities to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Update on Working and Learning pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Minutes:

            The Director of Economic Development submitted for the Committee’s consideration the following report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1       The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on the programme of work being delivered in the 2019/20 financial year under the Working and Learning pillar of the Belfast Agenda.  The work programme supports the inclusive growth ambitions of the Council by addressing barriers to progression, focusing upon educational underachievement and supporting residents to access employment and/or upskilling opportunities. 

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The committee is requested to:

 

                                                  i.          note the content of the report and the progress achieved to date on the 2019/20 work plan to support the delivery of the Working and Learning strands of the Belfast Agenda; and

 

                                                ii.          note the ongoing work to inform the future strategic direction of the employability and skills work programme, supporting the ambitions of inclusive growth and Belfast Agenda commitments.

 

3.0       Main Report

 

3.1       The Committee will recall that, at the meeting on 6th March 2019, approval was granted for a series of activities that would support the commitments made under the Working and Learning pillar of the Belfast Agenda.  Through this work programme, the Council is directly contributing towards the Belfast Agenda to better connect people to economic opportunities by:

 

·        addressing educational inequalities and increasing skill levels;

 

·        connecting local residents to employment opportunities across a range of sectors;

 

·        addressing barriers to employment; and

 

·        supporting young people to progress through coherent pathways into employment, education and/or training. 

 

3.2       This work programme mirrors the commitments of the Council within the Inclusive Growth Framework in relation to employability and skills.  It sets out how the Council is proactively working to address the barriers preventing city residents from accessing economic opportunity and to address the challenges of poverty and deprivation, focusing on the role of skills development and sustainable job creation as a way out of poverty. 

 

3.3       However, Members should be aware that the extent to which Council alone is able to make an impact in this area is limited by its statutory powers and by available resources (both financial and staff resources).  In order to achieve a step change, partnership working with government departments and employers is crucial.  Strategic opportunities presented through the Belfast Region City Deal and Community Planning provide mechanisms through which the Council can better influence regional polices to ensure that provision is aligned to local needs.   Moving forward, the Council’s role in this area will require a combination of direct delivery interventions, where opportunities exist for investment, as well as a wider influencing role to champion the needs of the city within a regional context. 

 

3.4       Recognising the importance of buy-in from other organisations, officers are working closely with partners to refresh the Employability and Skills Framework which was developed in 2015 and which served as a pre-cursor to the commitments within the Working and Learning theme of the Belfast Agenda. The refreshed framework will allow a greater degree of focus, ensuring that supply meets demand  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Update on Innovation and Inclusive Growth Commission pdf icon PDF 360 KB

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1       To update the Committee on the terms of reference, programme of work and governance of the newly-established Innovation and Inclusive Growth Commission.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is requested to;

 

                                                  i.          note the membership of Commission and how this will link with political decision-making and existing governance arrangements, the resource allocation including financial budgets and also the programme of work; and

 

                                                ii.          note the update on the work of the Innovation and Inclusive Growth Commission. Regular updates will be provided to this Committee throughout the Commission’s lifetime. 

 

            This report was agreed by the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on Friday 20th September.

 

3.0       Main Report

 

3.1       The Innovation and Inclusive Growth Commission was set up to support the Council and city partners in the further development and implementation of the priorities as set out in the Belfast Agenda.  A particular focus has been given to the priorities of (1) growing the economy and (2) city development.  The Commission will seek to deliver the core objective of inclusive growth. 

 

3.2       The work of the Commission will take place in three distinct phases – analysis, visioning and participative to include a full economic review and baseline for the city and completion of a mini stern (by January 2020), scenario planning and ultimately the production of a full economic growth plan for the city by Autumn 2020.

 

            Belfast City Council CEO will Chair the Commission and lead its work. She will be accountable for ensuring the Commission meets its goals and works within its terms of reference. The Commission will take evidence from all eight political parties represented on the council and will engage with the City Growth and Regeneration Committee throughout the process.

 

3.4       Accountability for day to day operation of the Commission (SRO) will rest with the Commissioner for Resilience, who will be tasked with advising and supporting the Commission, identifying resources (including from 100RC) and producing final outputs, as part of her requirement to produce a Resilience Strategy for the city. She will work alongside John Tully to ensure that the effective support is in place to support the Commission and its workstreams, provide research and ensure linkages with Community Planning and City Deal. Close working arrangements will also be put in place, the Director of Finance and Resources, the Director of Place and Economy and the City Deal lead and regular reports brought to CMT.

 

3.5       Core membership of the Commission is as follows:

 

-       Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council

-       Michael Lyons, Chair- English Cities Fund

-       Matthew Taylor, RSA (previously led RSA Inclusive Growth Commission)

-       Owen Reidy, or nominee, ICTU (tbc)

-       Emma Cariaga, British Land

-       Alice Charles, World Economic Forum

-       Joe O’Neill, Belfast Harbour Commissioners

-       Paddy Nixon, Vice Chancellor and President, Ulster University

-       Ian Greer, Vice Chancellor and President, Queen’s University Belfast

-       Rotha Johnston

-       Ronan Cregan, Deputy Chief Executive,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Regenerating Places and Improving Infrastructure

8a

Update on Car Parking Strategy pdf icon PDF 270 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Senior Development Manager submitted for the Committee’s consideration the following report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1       To provide the Committee with an update on the Belfast Car Parking Strategy and Action Plan.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is requested to:

 

                                                         i.   note the update on the Belfast Car Parking Strategy and Action Plan, and progress with key recommendations; and

 

                                                       ii.   agree the proposed approach to engagement across the work strands of the Car Park Strategy.

 

3.0       Main Report

 

3.1       The Belfast City Centre Regeneration and Investment Strategy (BCCRIS) identified the need for a parking strategy and action plan to ensure appropriate provision and location of parking to support the vitality of the city centre. A Car Park Strategy (CPS) and Action Plan was published in May 2018. Public consultation took place between August and November 2016, including an event in the City Hall which was open to Members, key stakeholders and the general public.

 

3.2       The CPS included a comprehensive baseline review of parking, focused largely within the city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods, which identified parking issues, challenges and opportunities, and outlined a number of objectives and actions to support the Strategy’s vision; ‘Belfast is a city offering sufficient, high quality and appropriately located parking which supports economic development and regeneration within the city by balancing the requirements of residents, businesses, commuters and visitors’.

 

3.3       The baseline review generally concluded that there is sufficient overall public parking supply within the city centre; a significant proportion of all day commuter parking takes place in the city centre; the quality of car parking facilities and payment technology varies greatly; and better management of parking demand and supply is needed to provide an integrated parking information system. The report also noted the impact of commuters who park in mainly residential areas, which prevents local residents from parking, adding to the cluttered feel of individual streets, decreasing perceived safety levels and reducing access for emergency service vehicles.

 

3.4       To address the issues identified, a number of objectives were agreed:

 

·        ensure appropriate provision to support city centre and district centres;

 

·        encourage sustainable commuter travel;

 

·        minimise potential impacts on residential communities;

 

·        improve quality of parking information;

 

·        identify opportunities to provide secure bicycle and coach parking; and

 

·        ensure appropriate provision for taxis within the city centre.

 

3.5       In terms of delivery, a number of actions for the relevant statutory organisations were identified. A Belfast City Council officer led Car Park Working Group, overseen by the City Regeneration and Development section was established to oversee and report on implementation, with actions grouped within four work streams, and a lead department / organisation. A summary of the four work streams is outlined below.

 

3.6       Operational

 

            The Operational work stream is managed by the City and Neighbourhood Services Off-Street Parking Unit and includes issues such as Parking Orders, tariffs, ticketing and enforcement.

 

3.7       The Off-Street Parking Unit (OSPU) are progressing the development of the Belfast Off Street Parking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8a

9.

Positioning Belfast to Compete

10.

Cultural Strategy Implementation and Investment pdf icon PDF 401 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1       The purpose of this report is to provide Members with further detail on the implementation of the new ten year cultural strategy for Belfast, A City Imagining including the financial and resource implications.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1        The Committee is requested to:

 

                                                    i.     note the contents of this report and agree to recommend to the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee the growth proposal outlined therein, as part of the rate setting process; and

 

                                                  ii.     note the requirement to recruit additional staff resources in order to ensure that the ambition set out in the strategy is achievable specifically to enable the council to secure new levels of partnership funding. 

 

3.0       Main Report

 

3.1       Background

 

            Members will be aware that at the meeting of City Growth and Regeneration Committee in August 2019, the new ten year cultural strategy for Belfast, A City Imagining 2020-30, was agreed. This strategy is the culmination of extensive public engagement and consultation over a 2 year period and is a consolidation of the foundation, commitments and achievements of several preceding strategies and frameworks. A City Imagining sets out a long-term commitment to facilitating a new integrated phase of culture-led progress and development for Belfast. The strategy brings together the culture, events and tourism functions within Council as well as identifying areas of cross departmental working to support the Belfast Agenda. This requires a new cross-cutting approach within Council including the design and delivery of:

 

-       a series of new programmes to support 16 priorities set out in the strategy;

 

-       support for a number of flagship strategic projects including bidding for major events; and

 

-       a new investment model including launch of cultural multi-annual grants.

 

3.2       Culture, arts and festivals make a city a great place to live in, invest in and visit.  Culture is also vital to retaining young people.  The most successful cities plan for the long term, have the most effective mix of local and international programmes and then in turn attract investment and sponsorship from the private sector.  There is significant evidence of economic return from ambitious long term programmes that include international events and attractions.  Many cities have also embedded their cultural strategies within their economic growth plans as they seek to ensure skills development, employability programmes and significant outreach work.

 

3.3       From the outset, it has been recognised that a transformation programme of this nature would require an increase in investment however this should be driven by the need to develop a new sustainable model that would also be supported by securing additional investment from public and private partners. In addition existing departmental budgets would be realigned to ensure maximum efficiency and meet the agreed priorities. 

 

3.4       Implementation and Investment

 

            Given that the strategy makes a long-term commitment over a ten year period, the approach to take it forward is based on a number of strategic implementation phases. Phase one is for the period 2020-2023 and the draft  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Update on Tourism and Events pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Minutes:

            The Director of Economic Development submitted for the Committee’s consideration the following report:

 

“1.0     Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1       The purpose of this report is to provide the Committee with an overview of a number of emerging priority areas of work for the Council to support in relation to the development of tourism and events in Belfast.  

 

1.2       Members will be aware that, at the City Growth and Regeneration Committee meeting in August, the ten year cultural strategy for Belfast was agreed. This strategy identified the potential for Belfast to position itself to visitors as an events destination as well as the need for ongoing wider tourism growth and the linking of current and future tourism attractions to relevant community tourism assets.

 

1.3       In order to prepare for the delivery of this strategy from April 2020 onwards, a number of priority areas for the remainder of 2019/20 have been identified and are set out in this report.

 

2.0       Recommendations

 

2.1       The Committee is requested to:

 

                                                    i.     note the work ongoing to support tourism development in the City;

 

                                                  ii.     approve the commissioning of the visitor economy research, at a cost not exceeding £25,000;

 

                                                 iii.     approve the commissioning of the Visitor Experience Mapping and Development Plan, at a cost not exceeding £80,000;

 

                                                 iv.     approve the commissioning of a strategic development plan for a reimagined Maritime Festival, at a cost not exceeding £80,000, with £50,000 to come from the Council and £30,000 to come from other partners;

 

                                                  v.     note the priority areas of work from October 2019 till March 2020 and approve the allocation of budget from within existing Departmental resources;

 

                                                 vi.     grant approval for officers to enter into initial discussions with respective event organisers and other partners in relation to the hosting in the City of the All-Ireland Fleadh Ceoil and the Tall Ships Race;

 

                                               vii.     note the details of emerging events that may be considered for future investment, as part of the Cultural Strategy’s positioning of Belfast as an events destination’ and grant approval for officers to take forward negotiations with relevant bodies;

 

                                             viii.     agree to receive subsequent reports with full details of resource implications in advance of any formal bidding process;

 

                                                 ix.     agree to provide a financial allocation of up to £50,000 towards the hosting of the Irish Traditional Music Awards ‘Gradam Ceoil’, scheduled to take place in Belfast in February 2020; and

 

                                                  x.     grant approval to enter into a temporary sharing arrangement between the Council, Visit Belfast and the Grand Opera House to provide box office services during the renovation works in 2020.

 

3.0       Main Report

 

3.1       Belfast has evolved into a successful and increasingly popular visitor destination over the last decade or more.   This development hasn’t gone unnoticed in the global tourism market.  In 2018, the Lonely Planet identified Belfast and Giant’s Causeway as the top place to visit. A rich and authentic blend of natural assets coupled with a unique cultural heritage, a vibrant cultural scene and a long-renowned warmth of welcome means that visitors  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Belfast at MIPIM pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following report:

 

“1.0       Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues

 

1.1         This report updates the Committee on the benefits of attending MIPIM as requested at the meeting in April, 2019.  It also updates on preparations for MIPIM 2020.

 

2.0         Recommendations

 

2.1         The Committee is asked to note:

 

                                                         i.          the benefits of attending MIPIM; and

 

                                                       ii.          the ongoing preparations for MIPIM 2020.

 

3.0         Main Report

 

3.1         The Council has been working with private and public-sector organisations to bring a delegation to MIPIM for the last four years. In April 2019, the City Growth and Regeneration Committee agreed that planning for MIPIM 2020 needed to commence immediately and, accordingly, approved attendance at the event of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson (or their nominees), along with senior officers, as appropriate, including travel and accommodation. The Committee also approved funding of £80,000 in line with the amount approved for MIPIM 2019, as part of the overall public private sector sponsorship fund, and the appointment of external consultancy support for programming, event management, communications and design for MIPIM 2020, with the cost to be met from the overall private public sector sponsorship fund. Committee also agreed that a report be submitted outlining the benefits for the City resulting from the Council’s participation in MIPIM. In August 2019, the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee subsequently agreed the contract on behalf of the partnership for the build, hire and fit out of a stand/pavilion at MIPIM 2020. At the meeting, it also asked for a report on the benefits derived from attending MIPIM and for details of the contractual arrangements in place for MIPIM 2020.  This report outlines the benefits of attending MIPIM and contractual arrangements in place for MIPIM 2020.

 

3.2         MIPIM (in French - Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier, in English - The International Market for Real Estate Professionals) is arguably the most important real estate event in the world, gathering influential investors from across the international property industry. It facilitates showcasing of cities, networking, introductory meetings, learning and transaction through events, seminars and dedicated exhibition zones for each city over four days in Cannes, France each year. In 2019, 26,800 participants from over 100 countries attended MIPIM, of which approximately 6,000 were from the UK and 14,500 from Europe. The delegation included 6,380 investors, 2,743 developers and 1,610 local and public authorities’ representatives.

 

3.3         The purpose of attending MIPIM is to showcase the investment opportunities in Belfast to attract long term institutional investment, developers of scale with a social conscience and corporate occupiers into the city.   

 

3.4         In 2019, 43 private and public-sector organisations including Belfast Region City Deal partner Councils, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, Queens University Belfast, Tourism NI, Translink, Visit Belfast, Ulster University together with a number of developers, professional and financial consultancy organisations attended MIPIM as ‘Team Belfast’ to help showcase the city offer and seek funding for their regeneration and development projects when they are at the right stage.  The delegation and preparation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Re-alignment of IABA Funding pdf icon PDF 269 KB

Minutes:

The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 12th September, 2018, it had agreed to support the staging in the 2019/20 financial year of the All-Ireland Elite Boxing Championships and had granted approval for Council officers to assist the Irish Athletic Boxing Association in its preparations for the event.

The Director of Development reported that it had since been established that the event could not proceed within the proposed timeframe, as it would coincide with the dates set aside by the Amateur International Boxing Association and the International Olympic Committee for qualification for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. As a consequence,  the Irish Athletic Boxing Association had requested the Council to support instead the staging of the 2020 European Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Championships and to reallocate to that event approximately £70,000 which had been earmarked for the Elite Boxing Championships.

He explained that the European Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Championships, which would take place in either the first two weeks in July or the last two weeks in August, would attract competitors from thirty countries, as well as coaches, support staff and officials. It was estimated that the event would attract a daily audience of 2,000 spectators and would generate in total around £1.7 million of visitor spend. Importantly, it would elevate Belfast’s status in terms of bidding for future European and World boxing competitions and would meet the objectives set out within the Council’s Boxing Strategy. He pointed out that the Championship would cost between £200,000 and £250,000 to deliver and that, whilst additional funding had yet to be secured, an approach had been made to Sport NI, Tourism NI and the Belfast Boxing Strategy Steering Group.  

Accordingly, he recommended that the Committee:

                       i.     agree to support the staging in 2020 of the European Boxing Confederation Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Championships;

 

                     ii.     agree to re-allocate approximately £70,000, which had been set aside in 2019/20 for the Elite All-Ireland Boxing Championships, to that event;

 

                    iii.     note that this support would be subject to the Irish Athletic Boxing Association securing additional financial support from Sport NI and Tourism NI and through the Belfast Boxing Strategy; and

 

                    iv.     note that an update report would be submitted to a future meeting.

 

            The Committee adopted the recommendations.   

 

 

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