City Deal and Economic Growth Funding Package confirmed for Derry and Strabane
The announcement of a £105M economic package by the UK Government in the Derry City and Strabane City Region has been widely welcomed by City and District partners.
The investment package comprises of a £50M ‘City Deal’ and a £55M ‘Inclusive Future Fund’ and is the culmination of a long period of engagement with Government in relation to advancing priority projects and initiatives within the City and District’s Inclusive Strategic Growth Plan and City Deal proposals.
It is anticipated that the UK Government investment package of £105M for Derry~Londonderry and Strabane will be at least matched by a similar commitment from the NI Executive and will lever further investment from project partners and other third party sources which it is hoped will eventually lead to an overall investment injection of in excess of £300M.
The Bid Team
Led by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the bid was developed in partnership, and with the support of a wide range of local education, business and economic partners - including the Ulster University, the North West Regional College, both the Londonderry and Strabane Chambers of Commerce, the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Visit Derry, City Centre Initiative and the Foyle Port, in consultation with all associated NI Government Departments.
At the core of the bid is education, innovation, job creation and skills development with a key focus being the advancement of the much sought after expansion and growth of the Magee campus of Ulster University.
The city deal plans include the establishment of a landmark riverfront university medical education and innovation hub. It is envisaged that would create 200 new research posts and increase Ulster University numbers in the city by 2,000.
Proposals also include improvements to the region's digital connectivity, the creation of skills academies and the creation of a Centre for Industrial Digitisation, Robotics and Automation.
Urban regeneration, infrastructure and tourism projects are also detailed in the city deal proposals.
In addition an Inclusive Future Fund the first of its kind in the UK aims to fund job creation and projects designed to tackle deprivation and develop young people's skills.
It is good news and is the result of an enormous amount of work and sustained effort invested by the council and the city and regional partners to develop, deliver and negotiate on the bid.
This investment will now see the rapid development of plans to grow and enhance facilities and student numbers at the Magee Campus including the Graduate Entry Medical School.