Neoliberal Belfast: Disaster Ahead?

Brian Kelly

Abstract


Buried beneath the hype surrounding the launch of Belfast's 'Titanic Signature Project' in mid-April was a small detail that managed to get a brief airing in Belfast's council chambers a few weeks later: working-class communities across the city had ‘missed out on the dividend' arising from the project, which failed to meet even the minimal `social responsibility' goals that the city had set in exchange for fast-tracking the project through planning and handing over 10m in ratepayer's money. The Titanic project, at more than 92m, two thirds of it public money, is the most expensive tourist attraction in Europe. Yet it failed to generate a mere 25 apprenticeships, fell short of creating a pitiful 15 jobs for the city's long-term unemployed, and to date includes not a single unit of desperately-needed social housing


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