Councils welcome growth deal funding for Mid, South West NI

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and Mid Ulster District Council have wholeheartedly welcomed confirmation of growth deal funding from the UK government.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched a new growth deal for the Mid, South and West Region of Northern Ireland on a visit to Scotland yesterday as part of a package of funding for parts of Scotland and Wales to help local communities and “ensure no corner of the United Kingdom is left behind.”

The growth deal funding will total £300 million across the three regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The move follows a unique collaboration by all three councils last year to develop a growth deal proposition for the area in a letter to the then Chancellor Philip Hammond.

They have pledged to work together to develop a strategic economic plan focused on improving productivity; creating more and better jobs; addressing economic infrastructure; growing investment; supporting business innovation and improving skills.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “As I said when I stood on the steps of Downing Street last week, it is time that we unleashed the productive power not just of London and the South East but of every corner of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Important projects like government’s Growth Deals – backed with £300m new funding – will open up opportunities across our Union so people in every corner of the United Kingdom can realise their potential.”

The three Councils who make up the Mid, South and West Region of Northern Ireland welcomed the announcement to support their ambitious growth deal bid.

Councillor Mealla Campbell, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, said: “Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council welcome confirmation of growth deal funding for the Mid, South and West region. This is a unique opportunity for the councils to work together to drive economic growth and lift the living standards of everyone in the region.

“This is new money and an exciting opportunity to make progress with certainty in delivering our collaborative deal to our local areas. We look forward to putting in place the structures we need to allow our companies to grow, to encourage entrepreneurialism and to put in place interventions for economic growth.”

Councillor Siobhán Currie, Chair of Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, said: “The announcement of growth deal funding for the Mid, South and West Region is warmly welcomed by Fermanagh & Omagh District Council at a crucial time in our region’s growth. It will act as the catalyst for economic growth to increase prosperity across all the councils and build a better future for all.

Councillor Martin Kearney, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, said: “We welcome confirmation of funding for this region’s growth deal, which represents the most significant and transformative economic opportunity in generations. We look forward to collaborating with the other councils to progress our early stage work quickly and thoroughly and to ensure the funding is used in the most effective way to drive economic growth and nurture entrepreneurism.