College signs up to partner in Northern Ireland’s first City Deal

South Eastern Regional College (SERC) is proud to be a partner in the first ever City Deal for Northern Ireland, which was signed in Belfast last month.

Heather McKee, SERC’s Director of Strategic Planning, Quality and Support, says the College’s strategy aligns closely with the City Deal aims

The Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) unlocks £1 billion of funding, which will deliver more than 20 highly ambitious projects and programmes, create up to 20,000 new and better jobs and help make the region a global investment destination over the next decade.

Developing skills to create a jobs pipeline which best meets the economic needs of the area is a crucial part of the project and SERC is very well prepared to make a significant contribution.

Three other Northern Ireland Colleges are partners in the Deal: Northern Regional College, Southern Regional College, and Belfast Metropolitan College.

SERC’s Director of Strategic Planning, Quality and Support, Heather McKee, said the College’s strategy aligns closely with the City Deal aims: “Our commitment to developing employability and skills, and to promoting innovation and digital confidence, means that we are more than ready to deliver on these pillars of the City Deal.

“We have a track record of working with local government on three Strategic Community Planning Partnerships.

“We see collaborative working with other organisations and agencies as the best way to achieve meaningful improvements in the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the community we serve.

“The Belfast Regional City Deal strengthens and builds on existing relationships and forges new ones.

“Working with councils and other educational institutions we can extend our activity to promote social inclusion and skills development for the benefit of our community.”

The Deal will strengthen the region’s offer in growth sectors such as life and health sciences, digital and creative industries, and advanced manufacturing.

It will also support next generation digital capabilities, boost tourism by creating world-class visitor experiences and enable regeneration, underpinned by infrastructure developments and investment in skills to connect people to jobs and services.

Other BRCD partners are: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council; Ards and North Down Borough Council; Belfast City Council; Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council; Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; Queen’s University Belfast; and Ulster University.