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Build a strong, connected and competitive region

• Resilient utility and digital networks • Efficient public transport and North/South connectivity • Investment in key strategic development sites

Northern Ireland has many internationally successful indigenous companies and we are recognised world leaders in several specialist areas of the tech sector. However, our economy has also been characterised by long-term structural weaknesses and inequalities such as poor connectivity, low productivity, relatively low wages and high rates of economic inactivity. Many of these challenges arise from or are, in part, exacerbated by our geography. To strengthen Northern Ireland, we need to improve our digital and physical connectivity, internationally, nationally and locally.

Digital and utility networks

Resilient and efficient utility networks are essential to support businesses and citizens. We are determined to maximise the benefits that digital networks offer to create a more regionally balanced, sustainable economy. 5G networks will provide the much-needed capacity to underpin increased mobile traffic. This technology will also be a crucial foundation for our post-Covid-19 recovery and future growth in innovation, especially as we adapt to increased home/remote working, smart cities and the growth of the Internet of Things.

Connectivity and public transport

Investing in our bus network and developing multi-modal hubs will help create a more connected, accessible and sustainable public transport network. The electrification and upgrading of the Belfast-Dublin rail corridor are recognised as being future developments of strategic importance to encourage economic growth.

Strategic development sites

Former military or defence and disused industrial sites offer us the opportunity to develop valuable large-scale and well-connected brownfield sites in strategic locations. One of our key priorities is to unlock these sites for investment allowing for well planned, sustainable economic development.

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