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ABC Council to benefit from share of £163m growth deal fund

The Mall, Armagh City Centre

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is to benefit from a £163 million share of UK Government funds to support local growth.

They, along with Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, Mid Ulster District Council, and Causeway Coast and Glens will share in the funding, which is designed to support economic growth, create jobs or invest in local projects.

In July, the Prime Minister announced Northern Ireland would benefit from a share of a new £300 million UK Growth Deals fund.

Confirming that Northern Ireland is to receive over half of this funding, Rt Hon Julian Smith MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said:

“Today’s announcement will help level up support for growth, helping to create jobs and boost local economies.

“It will boost the support we give to towns and cities in Northern Ireland and ensure no corner of the country is left behind. Every part of Northern Ireland now benefits from Growth or City Deal funding thanks to the UK Government.

“We need to get Brexit done and get Stormont back up and running so we can continue to invest in communities across Northern Ireland.”

In response to today’s announcement £163 million, the three councils representing the Mid, South and West region, which includes Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, said: “We welcome news the UK government has allocated funding for the Mid, South and West region growth deal and look forward to hearing more details. We are already an economic powerhouse representing one quarter of Northern Ireland’s GVA and with this funding we will be able to supercharge the growth of our collective economy and ensure prosperity for all.

“As a group of three councils, we are committed to ensuring this funding is spent in the most effective possible way. As such, we are in the process of finalising a regional economic strategy which will identify key interventions best suited to maximising the potential of the growth deal funding.”

DUP welcome Growth Deal funding of 300million

DUP councillors on the ABC Council have welcomed today’s announcement.

DUP Group Leader Mark Baxter stated: “This is a very welcome announcement and will enable ABC Council, along with Mid Ulster and Fermanagh & Omagh Councils, to forge ahead and develop opportunities for economic growth across this region of Northern Ireland.

“I want to place on record our thanks to Arlene Foster and our Westminster team including our local MP’s Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and David Simpson who worked tirelessly to bring this to fruition

“The Prime Minister has stated that he wants to see the United Kingdom ‘unleash its productive power’ not just in London but right across the UK and this new funding is certainly going to assist in that purpose.

“I thank all those involved for establishing important links with the UK Treasury to enable this funding to become a reality.”

He concluded: “I look forward with my colleagues on ABC Council to getting into the finer detail of the growth deal and how this huge sum of money will be spent.

“It will be most beneficial to ABC Borough and a very welcome boost in further realising our full economic potential as a business focused local authority.”

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