BRITISH Secretary of State Karen Bradley has given the go-ahead for a £350m city deal for Belfast.
And she has announced she was continuing to work on a deal for Derry.
Mrs Bradley signed the Heads of Terms for the deal alongside the Belfast City Regional Deal partners and the Northern Ireland Civil Service on Tuesday.
The deal will see the UK Government invest £350 million into the Belfast region over the next 15 years.
It is proposed that this figure will be matched by the Northern Ireland Executive once the devolved institutions are restored.
The city deal will be further bolstered by co-investment of upwards of £150m from Belfast Region City Deal partners and investment by the private sector is anticipated to bring the total investment package to over £1 billion.
It is hoped the deal will see the delivery of more than 20 projects to help create up to 20,000 new jobs.
The programme is intended to help grow the region’s business strengths in life and health sciences; ICT, digital and creative industries, and advanced manufacturing.
It will also support digital development and tourism-led regeneration across the entire region, through infrastructure developments and investment in skills to connect people to jobs and services.
Mrs Bradley said she was delighted to get the deal over the line.
“I am also engaging closely with the Chancellor to secure a financial announcement for the Derry Region City Deal and help unlock the huge potential that Derry has to offer,” the Secretary of State said.
“The UK Government is committed to developing a comprehensive and ambitious set of City Deals across Northern Ireland and delivering a stronger economy that works for everyone.”