3rd Jul 2019 in Business

The Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District, is calling for immediate action to release funds for much needed public sector investment in Belfast.

Several key projects have received planning permission, been approved at senior level, but no money has yet been committed.

Gareth Neill, CQ BID Manager, said it is frustrating for businesses that other projects have been given the green light when others languish.

“Over recent months approval has been given for the £300m Belfast Transport Hub, amongst other schemes,” he said. “At the same time major improvements have been waiting for the release of capital.

“Here in Cathedral Gardens (Buoy Park)  we have long-standing planned public realm works; a really valuable asset in a potential City Park. Across the road- the much needed  Belfast Central Library investment proposition and the ongoing need for upgraded water infrastructure all being approved but are going nowhere.”

Mr Neill said there is a danger that private sector investors will grow weary of the lack of much needed public sector investment.

“This is an exciting time for Cathedral Quarter,  we have a vibrant mix of commercial mixed-use opportunities coming online alongside the excitement of a new Ulster University that will provide live, work and play; ultimately meeting the demand for a liveable City Centre.  

Mr Neill said that the city cannot wait for resolution of the current political impasse.

“With no immediate prospect of a return of the Assembly and Executive; Permanent Secretary’s within the Civil Service should continue to be as proactive where possible for projects across Belfast City Centre  and in the Cathedral Quarter “

“These are all projects that have been approved, many have planning permission and the time to get them started is now.”

The Cathedral Quarter BID manager, in addition, said that the work of all CQ members will continue to sustain the development across the area, but more support from the public sector can make it even better for residents, businesses, and visitors.

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