East Antrim projects showcase at Cannes investment conference

Alderman Gregg McKeen and Anne Donaghy, chief executive of Mid and East Antrim Council.
Alderman Gregg McKeen and Anne Donaghy, chief executive of Mid and East Antrim Council.

Delegations from Antrim and Newtownabbey and Mid and East Antrim councils are in Cannes this week for an international property investment conference.

They have joined more than 100 business leaders from the wider Belfast region at MIPIM in France.

Over the three-day conference, the combined delegation is presenting a range of real estate investment and development opportunities to a potential audience of over 28,000 property investors, developers and occupiers.

Schemes being highlighted by Mid and East Antrim include the former St Patrick’s barracks site in Ballymena; The Gobbins, Islandmagee, Carrickfergus; Port of Larne and Glenarm.

It is the first year the delegation includes representatives from the five councils partnering Belfast City Council in the Belfast Region City Deal.

MEA Ald Gregg McKeen said: “Securing a Belfast Region City Deal – up to £1bn of co-investment – presents a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a decade of inclusive economic growth, create up to 20,000 new and better jobs, increase GVA by £470m per annum and make the region a global investment destination of choice.

“For Mid and East Antrim, this includes the creation of an innovation hub at St Patrick’s, and significant investment in Carrickfergus and The Gobbins.

“I have no doubt that MIPIM 2019 will be a really rewarding visit for all involved, and that the collective energies and efforts of the delegation will pay off for Belfast and the surrounding region in the months ahead.”

Jackie Henry, chair of the private sector taskforce leading the combined delegation, said: “MIPIM is a prime great example of how a strong partnership approach between the private and public sectors can provide the optimum environment for businesses to thrive.”