Northern Ireland is “long overdue” a City Deal, a Communities minister has said.
Jake Berry told MPs the deals to give local areas specific powers and freedoms to create jobs and support economic growth had succeeded elsewhere in the UK, and now it’s “Northern Ireland’s turn”.
Following a question from DUP MP Gavin Robinson on City Deals in Northern Ireland, Mr Berry said: “We have already engaged with Belfast on their city deals and we look forward to working with them to make sure that we can deliver on the promise.
“It is long overdue that Northern Ireland had some City Deals, they’ve succeeded in England, they’ve succeeded in Scotland and they’ve succeeded in Wales – now it’s Northern Ireland’s turn and we look forward to it.”
But the SNP’s shadow cities spokeswoman Alison Thewliss said the Government’s £1 billion DUP deal had meant Northern Ireland had received more money than ” all of Scotland’s City Deals put together so far”.
She went on to ask: “The City Deals so far have seen all of the plans that Scottish cities have been short changed by the UK Government. The Scottish Government has put in far, far more than the UK Government has sought to find.
“If money for Northern Ireland can be found, if a billion pounds can appear overnight, how long will Scottish cities have to wait until they get their money?”
Mr Berry said: “All of the Scottish cities agreed mutually with the Government the City Deals and we have seen £523 million go to Glasgow, £53 million to Inverness and the Highlands, £125 million to the Aberdeen region – and with the deals for Edinburgh and other deals on the table I don’t think she’ll have to wait too long.”