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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Executive marks milestone for £210m City Deal in North West

Executive Ministers will today mark a significant milestone in their vision for the regeneration of the North West, with the signing of the Heads of Terms for the £210million Derry~Londonderry and Strabane Region City Deal. In addition to the £210m funding being provided equally by the Executive and the Westminster Government, a further £40m investment from Derry City and Strabane District Council and its delivery partners means the region is set to benefit from a £250m economic package. The transformative investment will bring massive benefits to the North West and today’s signing reflects the shared commitment to continued progress on this important investment plan. First Minister Arlene Foster said:

“Today marks an important milestone in the progress of the City Deal. “There is a real sense of vibrancy and ambition in the North West. The Executive is working with the UK Government, the Council and a wide range of stakeholders to turn that potential into reality through collaboration and innovation. “As the many projects under this project come to fruition, we hope to see benefits not just in Londonderry and Strabane, but right across Northern Ireland.” Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said:

“The Executive is committed to the regeneration of the North West and bringing about prosperity for all the people of the area. Our investment in the Derry City and Strabane District Council City Deal is a mark of that commitment. Alongside the many ongoing projects to transform the area, this will be a game-changer for the regional economy, driving growth and creating opportunities for people. “There is an abundance of potential in the North West and this funding will help to harness it for the good of all. I commend all the partners and local representatives who have worked tirelessly to help secure this investment and I look forward to seeing the benefits it brings.” Finance Minister Conor Murphy, who will sign the Heads of Terms on behalf of the Executive, said:

Today marks a key milestone and is a very timely boost for the people of the North West in what has been an extremely tough year. “This investment will play a key role as we begin to emerge from the pandemic and our focus turns to rebuilding and restoring our economy. It will bring greater prosperity and social benefits to the whole community, addressing regional imbalance and delivering much needed jobs across the North.” Economy Minister Diane Dodds said:

“The City Deal investment of over £200 million will be a huge benefit to the economy. I commend the Council for its ambition to create world class industry focussed research centres in the city in the areas of robotics, Artificial Intelligence and precision medicine. Together these proposals will provide new opportunities creating better jobs which will support sustained economic growth for the region and wider benefits to Northern Ireland.” Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Brian Tierney added:

“The signing of the Heads of Terms marks the single largest investment by Government to our region and is a significant step forward in our City Deal journey. A funding package of this scale and magnitude will be felt not only in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area, but across the wider North West region and beyond, and will deliver a stronger, more resilient and regionally balanced economy. “The City Deal projects have the potential to really change the future of this city and region, to bring life and people back into our city and town centres, attract additional investment that can bring life, culture and opportunity to people’s doorsteps. The signing of the Heads of Terms today sets in motion the work that needs to be done to maximise the opportunities that City Deal can bring in terms of employment opportunities, output growth and a boost in population, the local economy and society. City Deal allows us to enhance our business offer in growth sectors such as health and life sciences, digital industries and SMART technology and support our digital capabilities to support economic investment and regeneration as well as boost tourism and culture. Key to this will be ensuring that these are underpinned by infrastructural developments and investment in skills to connect people with jobs and to services. We are hugely excited at today’s milestone to move to the next stage towards the delivery of an aspiring, creative and forward thinking suite of long-term sustainable projects.”

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis, alongside Northern Ireland Executive ministers, and local partners, will sign the Heads of Terms for the Derry/Londonderry and Strabane City Deal later today (Wednesday 24 February).

Signing the Heads of Terms on the Derry/Londonderry and Strabane City Deal is an important milestone towards the completion of this major investment package for the North West.

This Deal will boost the economic potential of the region and support a more prosperous, united community and stronger society. The UK Government’s investment in digital and innovative projects will deliver a step change in the North West’s economy, spread opportunity and empower the North West to become an engine for growth.

The UK Government is investing £105m in capital over 15 years through this economic package. This investment has secured match funding from the Northern Ireland Executive which, supplemented by up to £40m in private sector and local council contributions, provides a total investment for the region of up to £250m.

The UK Government’s investment will support the new Graduate Entry Medical School at Magee as well as a suite of projects that leverage the North West’s existing advantages in digital communications and reflect priorities identified in the UK’s Industrial Strategy on artificial intelligence, data and the future of healthcare.

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis along with NI Executive ministers, has today signed the Heads of Terms on the Derry/Londonderry and Strabane City Deal.

Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis MP said:

“I am absolutely delighted to sign the Heads of Terms for the Derry/Londonderry and Strabane City Deal. The UK Government has committed £105 million of capital funding to support and encourage economic development across the region, creating jobs, boosting opportunity and encouraging further inward investment.

“Today’s announcement is part of the UK Government’s commitment to developing and delivering a comprehensive and ambitious set of City Deals across Northern Ireland and delivering a stronger economy that works for everyone.

It is hoped the investment package will see the delivery of ten major projects, with a focus on Innovation, Digital and Health projects alongside Renewal and Regeneration initiatives. The proposed projects have the potential to deliver an additional 7,000 jobs, increase GVA by £210m per annum, drive growth in output and wages and provide a population boost as further people are attracted to come to the City region to work and study.

Alongside Ulster University, Western Health and Social Care Trust, Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) and the North West Regional College, the Deal delivers a truly collaborative investment programme which will help to drive economic development across the region, boosting jobs, creating opportunity and encouraging further inward investment.

Some of the 10 proposed projects include:

  • Centre for Industrial Digitisation, Robotics and Automation (CIDRA) This will support industry and commerce in their adoption and exploitation of industrial digital technologies, robotics and automation promoting innovation and accelerating new applications in the service sectors.

  • The Cognitive Analytics Research Laboratory (CARL) This is a transformational new cutting-edge Applied Research Centre that brings together data analytics and Artificial Intelligence expertise which are key technologies for future innovation.

  • The Transformation Healthcare Research Innovation Value Based Ecosystem Building on the existing C-TRIC, this is a research-led, community and industry-facing facility developed in recognition of the global opportunities that exist in the area of personalised and genomics medicine.


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