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Deal funding to benefit barracks

Jane Witherspoon

Reporter:

Jane Witherspoon

Councillors have approved an extension of Mid and East Antrim's Governance Framework concerning delivery on the Belfast Region City Deal.

Last month, a group including seven councillors traveled to Westminister to attend the handover of the Belfast City Deal.

The projects for Mid and East Antrim totalled almost £80m and required a £16.2m contribution from Council.

St. Patrick's Barracks is set to benefit from the City Deal with the development of a next generation science park.

The proposed integrated industrial inspiration and innovation campus will be developed on the former military site which adjoins a number of areas of deprivation in Ballymena.

Councillors leading the St. Patrick's Barracks scheme include Alderman Robin Cherry, Cllr. Timothy Gaston and Cllr. Audrey Wales.

The total cost for this is £26m from the City Deal purse with an additional £11.2m from the Department for Communities.

Addressing Council, Chief Executive Anne Donaghy welcomed the Treasury capital of £350m.

She said: "We welcome the Treasury contribution.

"The proposal that was submitted was based on a £442m contribution from Treasury, therefore we have £92.4m less than we had planned for of the £1bn deal.

"I believe that the political support that we have had surrounding a city deal has been significant."

City Deal funding was announced in the Chancellors Autumn statement where he announced a package of support of £350m.

Council committed £16.2m towards securing the projects for the Council area which will be made available from the Capital programme.

It was proposed that Council extend an invitation to Lord Mawson to Ballymena by UUP Councillor Robin Stewart and seconded by DUP Councillor William McCaughey.

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