Horizon2020 - A local perspective, Suzanne Wylie, Belfast City Council - 27 May 2014


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  • PEACE II, In the PEACE II funded Connect project we worked with the cities of Valencia, Rybnik, Stockholm and Vilnius. This project enabled us to share examples of best practice and to learn valuable lessons around Governance, Strategic Planning and Urban Regeneration which have been very relevant particularly as we are moving into a new era of extended powers for Council with Local Government Reform. The project entailed a cross sectoral delegation from the metropolitan region visiting the cities according to their areas of expertise for example urban regeneration in Valencia, Waste Management in Stockholm. Peer reviews were conducted. Each city then visited the metropolitan area. A final conference was held in Belfast to independently evaluate the strengths and weaknesses, opportunity and threats of each of the partners and consolidated working relationships through further EU projects.
    PEACE III – Our PEACE III funded Skatepark located under the M3 flyover at the junction of Little Patrick Street and Corporation Street (near Custom House Square), includes a capsule bowl and street complex, complete with handrails, hips, quarter pipes, grind boxes and hubbas – which have caught the imagination of local young people. Through the duration of the project we have promoted, developed and run 25 Cross Community Events, 6 Cross Border Events and 12 Events working with Community and Voluntary Organisations. A further 24 Formal Competitions and 120 Informal Events (including coaching, mentoring and outreach work) have been held since the Park opened in May 2011.
    We have worked closely with our partners and as a result of this project 54 volunteers have gone through training and been given the opportunity to gain experience in an urban sports environment, helping to create pathways to further training, education and / or employment.
    -ILLUMINATE, The ICT Policy Support programme provided us with an opportunity to partner with 7 other EU cities to pilot new technologies in solid state lighting at City Hall. The new lighting system, while making the City hall a more attractive and welcoming sight for everyone, is also helping to reduce City Council’s electricity consumption and carbon emissions, helping to make Belfast a brighter, cleaner and more efficient city. It is estimated that the system will save around £14k on Council’s annual electricity bill and reduce carbon emissions by 90 tonnes or around half of its annual carbon reduction target. The new LED lighting has captured the imagination of the public and has helped to promote the city as we have seen during the recent Giro d’Italia when City Hall was sporting pink!
    - INTERREG The INTERREG Programme was introduced in 1991 to provide support for cross-border economic development in the less developed regions of the EU. The phase of the programme which ran from 2007 to 2013 was called the INTERREG IVA Programme. This covered NI, the border region of NI and the Republic of Ireland and western Scotland and it had a total budget of 258 million euros. Under this programme we administer funding to 3 projects, Business Boot camp funded to the value of £831,305, which provides technical assistance to entrepreneurs aged 16 to 35, Gateways to Growth which has a project value of £226,443 which supports SMEs at all stated of the supply chain and Smart ECO hub worth just under £833,520 which focuses on low carbon innovation.
  • As part of the Belfast PEACE III Plan we funded 21 projects ( £4 million of ERDF) and engaged with over 13,000 people of all ages from all parts of the city through dialogue, activities, events. Our audience was diverse, reflecting the cultural diversity of our city.
  • Using the Aid for PEACE evaluation methodology we have produced this matrix showing how the various programmes and projects contributed to towards Peace and Reconciliation and the aims of the PEACE III Plan.
  • Our EU unit has also led the way in establishing the Northern Ireland European Regional Forum which BCC co chairs with OFMDFM. Its purpose is to:

    Maximise the benefits of active participation in EU policy development;
    Compete effectively for European funding and
    Access European networks so that we can contribute to and learn from best practice.

    The Forum was established in May 2012 and now has over 100 members. Member organisations come from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors. Since its creation members have benefited from information on funding, support with finding partners to develop projects for EU funding and it has hosted and co hosted a number of key events such as today’s event to encourage networking and learning about opportunities to access EU funding.
    The new European Regional Forum has provided or the first time, a truly comprehensive network of regional stakeholders across all sectors enabling them to develop a more strategic, systematic relationship with the EU and its Institutions.
  • We are in period of transition –

    From economic stagnation to the first signs of growth, moving from central governance to more local power

    And the 3 major areas of change are:-

    the Investment programme,

    the move towards supporting people and communities at a more local level and

    Local Government Reform
  • So, what lies ahead for the future? BCC’s Masterplan sets out what we want to achieve:

    The centre city - A vibrant and dynamic centre city which supports regional economic growth
    The neighbourhood city - Neighbourhoods which provide the focus for community, social and environmental sustainability
    The accessible and connected city- Enhancing the accessibility and connectivity internationally, regionally and locally
    The learning city- Harnessing the power of cutting edge research and development and third level education
    The eco city - Clean technology, renewable energy and efficiency will drive growth in the economy and reduce costs for businesses and households.

    The Masterplan guides our approach to EU funding and we are now exploring opportunities under the new programmes of EU funding 2014 to 2020 to support our future work.

  • The Investment Programme is probably one of the most important steps the Council has taken in its history to show leadership at a time when it is needed most. It builds on a history which our organisation has of investment in the city during difficult times – in particular the Waterfront Hall and the Gasworks Development which were catalysts in the regeneration of Belfast’s Waterfront. We are:

    Leading on a physical investment programme, contributing £150 million to capital projects

    Investing in the city’s economic infrastructure, £20 mill for a Convention and Exhibition Centre at the Waterfront Hall, £8 mill for a Green Economy Business Park at the Northforeshore, £20 mill for an innovation centre, £4 Mill for a Digital Hub as well as our investment in Super-connected broadband

    Supporting the local economy through employability and skills initiatives and events

    -Supporting people, communities and neighbourhoods by investing £29 mill in local communities

    Ensuring we keep the rates below inflation and

    Delivering £20 million savings

    We are looking at the many EU Competitive programmes to seek opportunities to support all of this work and are already beginning to develop partnerships and projects.
  • Local Government Reform also provides a major opportunity for Belfast City Council resulting from the transfer of key powers. Belfast will get responsibility for a number of key place-shaping functions such as planning, regeneration and community planning. Population base (and associated rates base) will increase from 277,000 to 320,000 approximately assimilating parts of both Lisburn and Castlereagh. The number of elected Members will increase from 51-60; with the proposed average for the other 10 council areas being 40 councillors.

    Greater Partnership Approach - opportunity for local government to be a key partner of government and work in a more integrated way with government departments to make things happen on the group and support sustainability.

    To prepare for the period post Local Government Reform, Belfast City Council and Invest NI have partnered on the development of an Integrated Economic Strategy which has been created in the context of the Northern Ireland Economic Strategy and in line with the Europe 2020 priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. This also shapes our thinking when exploring the opportunities that EU funding presents.
  • Competitive EU funded projects have greatly benefited the work that we lead on as a Council for our citizens. We acknowledge that developing and implementing EU projects can be very challenging and resource intensive. However we have benefited greatly by working with other cultures across Europe, by looking at things from a different perspective. EU funding has allowed us to develop and implement a wide range of projects, to pilot new ways of working and find collective solutions to common city problems. We look forward to the opportunities the new round of EU funding 2014 to 2020 brings and to working with many of you here today to develop projects for our city over the next 7 years
  • Horizon2020 - A local perspective, Suzanne Wylie, Belfast City Council - 27 May 2014

    1. 1. Suzanne Wylie Chief Executive Designate Belfast City Council A local perspective 27 May 2014
    2. 2. Presentation Overview • Belfast City Council and Europe • Our approach to European funding and achievements to date • Our aspirations and goals for the future
    3. 3. Belfast City Council European Unit • Established in 2004 • Based on best practice • Sub regional role • Objectives: – Maximise EU funding – Disseminate policy and influence legislation – Showcase Belfast and region in Europe – Showcase Europe in Belfast – Engage in EU networks
    4. 4. Competitive EU Funding 2004-2013 • URBACT • LIFELONG LEARNING • ICT POLICY SUPPORT PROGRAMME • INTERREG • PREPARATORY ACTION IN SPORT • FUTURE CITIES • EYES c €30 million overall value of EU competitive funded projects
    5. 5. Belfast City Council Leading the Way • INTERREG C – BERI, € 1.5 million • INTERREG North West Europe - RENEW project €2.44 million • URBACT - Building Healthy Communities €750 thousand
    6. 6. Belfast City Council Leading the Way • PEACE II – Connect, €0.5 million • PEACE III – Skatepark, €0.5 million • Policy Support Programme – ILLUMINATE, €483,920 • INTERREG A – Business Boot Camp, Gateways to Growth, Smart ECO Hub, c €1.5 million
    7. 7. PEACE III Plan 2011-2014 • £4 million • 21 projects • Over 13,000 participants – 11% ethnic minorities – 63% aged 25 or under – 51% catholic background / 49% protestant or other background
    8. 8. Reconciliation Aim Types of activities Examples of Belfast Projects Contact awareness and understanding Increasing trust and understating Reducing tensions Visits /Seminars Social / cultural interchanges City of Festivals Creative Legacies Citizens for Peace Growing Respect Walk of Faith WIMPS Joint projects Increasing collaboration - efficient and effective working - outcomes Developing partnerships Area plans Shared events Peace Players Tension Monitoring REAL Project Local Area Networks Raising conflict issues Breaking silence Challenging myths, stereotypes. Culture, values, attitudes, structures that cause discrimination. Training Workshops Debates Exhibitions A Century Later Visions of Peace building Inner East & Outer West Mediation Changing culture and structure Changing structures and ways of working Creating more inclusive structures in communities Multi denominational groups Local development events Mainstreaming Creating Cohesive Community Youth Engagement Project Roots of Empathy Migrant & Minority Ethnic Project Activities Activities
    9. 9. Northern Ireland European Regional Forum A strategic platform for collaboration on EU policy and funding • maximise EU funding opportunities • shape EU policy to the benefit of the region • influence future funding calls to the benefit of regional stakeholders “Strengthening our Voice in Europe”
    10. 10. Period of Transition for the City • Economic Climate • Funding climate • Local Government Reform • Creating a City Vision / strategy • Emphasis on Place Shaping
    11. 11. Elements of a City Strategy for 2020
    12. 12. To tackle the effects of economic downturn • Physical Investment Programme − Investing £150 million in capital projects • Economy − £34 million in local economic growth − Delivering 200 job opportunities and 400 work placement, apprenticeship and internship opportunities − Increasing local procurement to 60% − Investing nearly £8 million in events • People, communities and neighbourhoods − Investing £29 million in local communities A changing council role Investment Programme 2012-2015
    13. 13. • Transfer of key place-shaping functions e.g. – Planning – development plans, management & enforcement – Regeneration Authority – Enhanced local economic development – Community Planning • Councils becoming a central partner of government • Stronger relationships in the city and internationally Future Opportunities - Local Government Reform
    14. 14. EU Funding Opportunities for the Future • Horizon 2020, €79 billion • Erasmus+, €19 billion budget • Life, €3.2 billion • EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), €815 million • Creative Europe, €1,462 million
    15. 15. EU Funding Opportunities for the Future • INTERREG, estimated €210 million • PEACE IV, €269 million • Public Health Programme – budget to be agreed • Innovative Urban Actions, €300 million
    16. 16. The Future of Belfast