£80m Mid and East Antrim investment bid at Westminster

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A £1billion initiative which includes extending The Gobbins cliff path at Islandmagee and regenerating Carrickfergus will have a Westminster airing today (Wednesday).

A delegation of business leaders, politicians and council officials is to tell the Government about the ambitious Belfast Region City Deal.

Carrickfergus Town Centre.

Carrickfergus Town Centre.

The substantial economic opportunity includes plans for around £80m investment in Mid and East Antrim – a blueprint aimed at re-energising an area which has dealt with the loss of more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs in recent years.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson and MEA Council are hosting the morning engagement session at Westminster, followed by the Belfast Region City Deal Communications and Engagement Event in the Terrace Pavilion, hosted by Belfast Region City Deal.

The latter sets out a vision to create 20,000 new and better-paid jobs across the region’s growth sectors. It will also improve infrastructure, digital connectivity, visitor attractions and innovation hubs; and deliver a major skills and employability programme.

MEA Council, alongside the other local authority partners, has been working in close collaboration with the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Treasury as well as universities and further education colleges to agree the priority projects for submission to Westminster.

MEA Mayor, Cllr Lindsay Millar, said: “The number one strategic priority of our council is growing the economy. We’re delighted that we are continuing our negotiations to secure this significant investment into the borough and Northern Ireland as a whole.”

Anne Donaghy, MEA Council chief executive, said: “Together with the backing of our elected representatives, who have demonstrated unwavering support to our focus on economic growth, we have introduced and delivered a number of initiatives which have the potential to transform the economy in this borough.”