A new awareness and engagement programme, focused on positioning Belfast and the wider city region to take advantage of the opportunity to drive investment and support inclusive economic recovery, was launched on 6th October 2020 with an inaugural virtual panel event featuring Causeway Asset Management’s Director Damian Mitchell.
Devised by a partnership of private and public sector stakeholders in the Belfast city region, ‘Renewed Ambition’ has been created to bring together key partners – including funders, government, occupiers, developers, the supply chain and more – with the purpose of highlighting Belfast’s compelling investment proposition globally.
The programme forms part of wider plans laid out by public and private stakeholders to support the city region as it continues to face challenges presented by COVID-19 and embarks on its journey toward inclusive economic recovery.
Consisting of a series of virtual events and investor engagement initiatives, Renewed Ambition will showcase the wide range of opportunities for real estate investors, developers and occupiers in the Belfast city region. The series will draw upon local and internationally respected experts to highlight Belfast’s sectoral strengths, together with the unique selling points that set the city apart from others across the UK and Ireland focusing in on aspects such as talent, connectivity, cost of living and quality of life.
The programme will create a platform to discuss key government initiatives aimed at addressing the impact of COVID-19 on our spaces and places and, crucially, how the real estate sector can respond as we learn to live with the virus in the future. Additionally, it will focus on how Belfast is perfectly located in a post-Brexit era in an economic triangle between London and Dublin and set to benefit from a bespoke set of circumstances and trading conditions from the beginning of 2021.
In his role on the panel, Damian highlighted the lower cost of capital entry compared to other global cities combined with the indigenous talent that has to date made Belfast a global leader in the tech sector; particularly in cybersecurity, he said;
Over the past few years we have been successful with providing investors with double-digit returns and we certainly see that growing moving forward.
Joe O’Neill, Chief Executive of Belfast Harbour and Chair of the Renewed Ambition Taskforce, said:
“The months ahead will be challenging, but with collaboration and commitment, we can influence how we recover. Driven by the public and private sector, Renewed Ambition will help shape the conversations and engagement opportunities to support the right type of recovery in our city and the wider region.
“That’s why we are pooling our collective expertise to work in partnership with some of our most forward-thinking organisations so that we can shine a light on what makes our city such a unique and attractive place to an international real estate audience.
“Now more than ever, we must be bold and brave in our vision for investment and development in the city and city region.”
The programme will highlight how Belfast’s attractiveness as an investment location remains strong in the post-coronavirus era, according to Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive of Belfast City Council.
“We have a very clear plan for Belfast’s recovery post-COVID and Renewed Ambition will be an important part of that journey. It will take our unique and compelling investment proposition to a global market in a new and exciting way. We have had to pivot how we position the city in the wake of coronavirus and in doing so have found ways to reach a wider audience which will allow us to attract investors from all corners of the globe, in line with our Inclusive Growth Strategy,” she said.
“This is an exceptionally challenging time, but as a city, we’ve proven our resilience time and again, and now, with collaboration stronger than ever before, Renewed Ambition will highlight the very best that the city has to offer as a place to live, work, learn, visit and invest, and act as our real estate showcase to the world.”
Chaired by Joe O’Neill, the Renewed Ambition Taskforce consists of a number of key public and private stakeholders who are committed to building a positive future for the Belfast city region, including: Arup, Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour, Carson McDowell, Causeway Asset Management, GRAHAM, Invest NI, KPMG and Titanic Quarter Ltd.
The partner councils that make up the Belfast Region City Deal include: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council; Ards and North Down Borough Council; Belfast City Council; Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council; Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.