Belfast Chamber sets out five steps to transform city’s economy post-election

Membership body says nothing short of full Executive return will do for Belfast businesses

The Belfast Chamber has called on candidates in the city to support its plans to revitalise Belfast’s economy following May’s election.

Launching today, Belfast Chamber’s Belfast City Commitment asks election candidates to support their five-fold programme to make Belfast one of Europe’s leading innovative and sustainable cities. It’s ‘5 Commitments For A Better Belfast’ sets out five asks of the next Executive and Assembly in areas including infrastructure, governance, connectivity, and housing in an attempt to help Belfast reach the standard set by competitor cities like Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham.

Growing the city centre population by 20,000 and making Belfast a people-centred, safe, and clean city are among the priorities set out in the policy document. Specific proposals include the delivery of a Belfast city centre housing plan, an upgrade of the city’s water and sewage system, and a review into the powers of local government across Northern Ireland.

The membership body, which represents over 800 businesses, has called for the immediate restoration of the Executive following May’s poll.  Belfast Chamber Chief Executive, Simon Hamilton, says that the city is “perfectly positioned to push on” and be a catalyst for Northern Ireland’s economic regeneration, but that an absent Stormont could hamper Belfast’s future growth.

Belfast Chamber Chief Executive, Simon Hamilton, said:

“Belfast’s story is not fully written. Our city is still a work in progress, emerging from the challenges of the past, but headed towards a brighter future. To that end, we are asking candidates in the upcoming Assembly election to help our city realise its potential. Not in twenty or thirty years, but now.”

“Our Belfast City Commitment asks election candidates to pledge their support for five steps we believe will spark a gear-change in how we do business in the city. If implemented, our asks will transform Belfast into an innovative, inclusive, and sustainable city fit for whatever the future may hold. What we need is Stormont support to help us achieve that.”

“An absent Executive following next week’s poll would deliver nothing for the Belfast economy and would impact negatively on the city’s growth. Anything short of a full return will damage investment prospects, hamper long-term development, and would endanger the hard-earned progress we have made over recent years. Our message to the next cohort of MLAs is clear and unequivocal: to deliver for Belfast, we need the Executive to return immediately.”

“Belfast is the engine room of our regional economy and is perfectly positioned to push on and provide more jobs, more investment, and more regeneration for the whole of Northern Ireland. Belfast businesses have, time and time again, demonstrated their commitment to the city through investing in regeneration projects and creating jobs. In our Belfast City Commitment, we ask our Assembly candidates to do the same.”

The Belfast City Commitment can be downloaded over on our Policy page.