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Belfast poised to lead the race for global city development

Belfast is a city filled with creative energy, set to lead the race in global city development, according to one of the world’s most eminent architects, speaking at MIPIM, Cannes.

Daniel Libeskind – who designed the masterplan for New York’s Ground Zero at the World Trade Center and Berlin’s Jewish Museum, amongst a host of other major urban landmarks around the world – praised the city’s dynamism and predicted a waterfront attraction in the future. Mr Libeskind is collaborating with Belfast at MIPIM 2019, the world’s leading property market.

Speaking to an audience of international developers and occupiers on the Belfast stand, Mr Libeskind said: “I’ve visited Belfast many times and each time, I’m struck by the young creative energy of a city looking forward. In the competing race for city developments, Belfast, in the near future, is poised to be near the very top.

“We can anticipate a world class visitor experience and information hub in the heart of Belfast city centre.”

Belfast at MIPIM 2019 is the largest delegation to date, with almost 100 representatives from the private and public sector showcasing investment opportunities in the Belfast Region to international investors.

Mr Libeskind also shared his views on the future for Belfast as a place in which to live, work, learn, enjoy life and invest, shining a light on the importance of cultural attractions and experiences in shaping a sustainable city.

Meanwhile, the Belfast delegation at MIPIM is focused on showcasing the investment opportunities in the city and surrounding region, attracting the attention of investors and occupiers and in time, building long lasting business relationships with them.

Councillor Donal Lyons, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, said: “Daniel’s words are a real endorsement for Belfast and confirm what we’ve known for some time: our city is a fantastic choice for investors and there really is unlimited potential here, thanks to our natural and built environment, connectivity – and most importantly, our talent base. It’s been a real honour to collaborate with an architect and urban visionary of such international standing here in Cannes and I hope that the evident connection between Mr Libeskind and Belfast continues to grow.

He added: “We’ve already engaged with a wide number of serious players about potential investment in Belfast and the surrounding region.  They are hugely impressed and refreshed by what we’ve got to offer – talent, innovation, location, fast growth sectors, an outstanding track record for FDI; and of course, our best kept secret, quality of life. Team Belfast is showing the international investment community that we’re the smart choice for investment.”

As well as developers, property owners, professional services firms, Belfast City Council and other industry representatives, the delegation also consists of delegates from the six Belfast Region City Deal partner councils, Queen’s University and Ulster University.

Announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Budget statement in 2018, the Belfast Region City Deal, will see an investment of £350m by the Treasury. This will form part of a £1 billion co-investment package, enabling a decade of strategic, inclusive investment in 22 projects spanning innovation and digital, tourism led regeneration and infrastructure – underpinned by a tailored employability and skills programme.  It’s anticipated that this investment will significantly increase GVA, leverage up to £4 billion of private sector investment, and create up to 20,000 new and better jobs in the region.