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Derry City regional growth deal reaches milestone

Words: Roger Milne
Derry / Rolf G Wackenberg_Shutterstock_404731681

The Derry-Londonderry Strabane City Deal passed a milestone this week with the key players welcoming the signing of the heads of agreement, which will see investment totalling £250 million in the north-west region.

The UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive are each contributing £105 million with the council, Ulster University, North West Regional College, the Western Trust and the C-TRIC initiative providing the remainder.

Among the strategic schemes included in the city deal are Ulster University projects involving artificial intelligence and data analytics (CARL) and robotics and automation (CIDRA) as well as the extension of the Magee campus in Derry with a new School of Medicine. A Health Research Institute is also planned.

Of the investment, £50 million will be targeted at regenerating Strabane town centre. There will also be investment in tourism initiatives in Derry as well as renewal investment along the riverfront and Queens Quay.

John Kelpie, chief executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council, said the area already had the building blocks in place to draw people, business, and investment to the region.

“A £250 million investment of this scale will empower us to achieve our goals in regenerating key areas and creating a city and town centre that is smart, safe, accessible and vibrant, that can sustain people and jobs and bring a real sense of pride of place.

“It has the potential to bring an additional 7,000 jobs by 2032 and lever additional millions in investment over the next decade.”

Image credit | Rolf G Wackenberg, Shutterstock (top) | iStock-503240194 (square)