Oversight Board Chair and Deputy Chair elected as push to boost economy between Dublin and Belfast gains momentum

A new cross-border partnership established to foster economic growth along the key strategic route between Dublin and Belfast has announced its inaugural political leadership team who will help drive employment opportunities, address barriers impacting trade and encourage the delivery of better transport infrastructure.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 5:00 pm
Chair Cllr Peter Byrne and Deputy Chair Cllr Seána " Rodaigh

Cllr Pete Byrne from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council was elected as Chair of the Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor (DBEC) Oversight Board, a body made up of councillors from the eight local authorities along the corridor. Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh of Fingal County Council in Ireland was named Deputy Chair.

Addressing the Oversight Board’s meeting in County Meath, new Chair Cllr Pete Byrne, said: “We have a real opportunity through the work of DBEC to deliver jobs and sustainable growth along what is a major economic pipeline for the whole of the island. There is a rich and diverse range of sectors and a large number of businesses which we can help to grow, be it in Agri-Food, financial services, tourism, high tech manufacturing or construction.

“Importantly, as a joint partnership this will go beyond focussing on the big cities which bookend the corridor and allow us to tackle regional disparities head on by leveraging the existing local government network and resources of the participating partners, as well as encouraging buy-in and engagement from the private sector.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Deputy Chair of DBEC Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh, continued: “Alongside the obvious social and economic benefits of closer cross border collaboration in order to develop the corridor, what we are looking to help drive is greater inward investment, the boosting of trade opportunities for local businesses, increased production in key sectors and higher employment. This will be increasing important as the population along the corridor continues to grow.”

As part of their efforts to develop a regional proposition for economic growth, DBEC has engaged leading consultants KPMG to undertake work which will help deliver a development plan to identify priority areas of cooperation between the councils and what DBEC could look to do to encourage greater economic regeneration across the corridor area.

Launched earlier this year, the DBEC partnership has members coming from four councils on either side of the border. There are 24 councillors who sit on the Oversight Board, three each from the eight councils involved: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council; Belfast City

Council; Dublin City Council; Fingal County Council; Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council; Louth County Council; Meath County Council; and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The partnership also includes Dublin City University and Ulster University who collaborated to produce the report that led to the formation of the group in March of this year.

Currently there are some two million people living in the eight council areas that the economic corridor passes through, however its population is expected to grow faster than elsewhere across the island of Ireland.

Predictions are that the total population will reach 2.5 million by 2040, bringing with it a younger and more diverse concentration of people.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Thank you