Belfast City Council and the five other councils in the Belfast Region have strong ambitions for inclusive and sustainable growth. The Belfast Region has an extensive track-record over the last 5+ years in attracting real estate investment, and this trend is set to continue. The Belfast Agenda, Belfast’s first Community plan, set an ambitious target of attracting 66,000 people to live and work in the city centre and 31,600 additional homes by 2035. The Region is benefiting from the Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD), a bespoke package of funding and decision-making powers negotiated between central government and the six local councils , aimed at harnessing additional investment, creating new jobs and accelerating inclusive economic growth.
Useful Projects was commissioned by the Belfast City Council “Renewed Ambition Programme” (RAP) to better understand the wider economic, social and environmental impact resulting from real estate development, and provide clear recommendations to help BCC and BRCD partners ensure maximum value and impact is realized from future developments in the region.
There have been three objectives to the research. The first, to look back to what has been achieved in the past five years in the Belfast Region through exploring local case studies across the real estate asset classes and conducting a policy review. The second objective was to look further afield to what best practice looks like, through looking at five international case studies as well as performing a framework review. The final objective was to look the future to provide recommendations for policy interventions and consider other enablers that will lead to improved economic, social and environmental benefits and a framework for measurement.
It is hoped that the recommendations arising from this research will ensure that future real estate investment delivers wider inclusive growth and sustainable development outcomes for the Belfast Region.