ICE Northern Ireland is proud to announce the official launch of its 2016 Manifesto, ‘Building Our Quality of Life.’ The launch event took place on 27 January at Stormont Parliament Buildings in Belfast, where Regional Director Richard Kirk was joined by Minister for Regional Development Michelle McIlveen, Chris Lyttle MLA, industry stakeholders and other government officials.
The Manifesto, which centres on the themes of Delivery, Resilience and Skills, includes ten recommendations for Northern Ireland government to implement over the next five years.
The launch also featured ICE NI’s Manifesto video
Minister McIlveen echoed ICE’s call for investment in infrastructure, saying “The Executive’s number one priority is to support and drive economic recovery across all parts of Northern Ireland and we recognise the important role of infrastructure in delivering economic success.
"It is the accessibility, and the quality, of our infrastructure that will enhance our regional competitiveness and attractiveness as a region and by strategically prioritising investment in our key economic infrastructures, and by striking the right balance between maintenance and development, the Executive will help to create the conditions and the capacity for growth – not just to meet the needs of our economy today – but in ten, twenty and thirty years’ time.”
Infrastructure has clear economic and social outcomes – every £1 of investment generates £2.84 in the wider economy, and 94% of surveyed businesses cite infrastructure as a decisive element when planning future investment.
The Manifesto also includes the 2016 State of the Nation needs assessment, which examines five industry sectors: flooding, water, waste, energy and transport. Three sectors have earned a C grade, and energy and waste have a D grade, meaning they are at risk.
ICE NI’s Manifesto urges government to deliver the North-South Interconnector by May 2021 to ensure affordable and secure electricity supply, as well as a publicly owned Energy from Waste facility by May 2021 to manage waste resources and generate local energy. To sustainably manage water consumption and to provide a solid investment stream for NI Water, ICE NI echoes the EU’s recommendation for domestic water charging. At the moment, Northern Ireland is the only region in the EU that has not implemented domestic water charging.
“We intend to continue our work with political parties to address the issues we’ve highlighted in the Manifesto,” Richard said. “In doing so, we hope to secure a more prosperous future for Northern Ireland and create a better quality of life for people here.”
Read ICE NI’s Manifesto in full
View photos from the event on our Flickr page