Minister Hargey driving forward regeneration of Fort George in Londonderry
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has agreed that Fort George can be the location of a new Health and Care Centre in Derry.
The Fort George site is owned by the Department for Communities (DfC) who is leading on its regeneration.
After an Expression of Interest exercise, DfC entered an agreement with the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) so that they could further develop their proposal for the Health and Care Centre to be located on the site.
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said:
“Fort George is a strategic regeneration site that has huge potential to create real social and economic benefits for the City of Derry and beyond.
“I am delighted to announce that I have agreed to provide part of the site to the Western Health and Social Care Trust for their Health and Care Centre. My Department is committed to maximising Fort George’s potential and is delighted to work with the Trust to accommodate this ambitious development which will deliver key health services to the community in Derry.”
The development of a Cityside Health and Care Centre is anticipated to create 250 new permanent jobs as well as centralising approximately 450 posts in a modern state of the art facility. The positions will include nursing, social work, allied health professional and administrative roles as well as the relocation of a number of GP surgeries.
Health Minister Robin Swann said:
“This is an important step towards ensuring the delivery of high quality integrated primary and community care services within the city-side of Londonderry, and also towards improving the health service infrastructure within Northern Ireland. I recognise the efforts of all concerned in securing the site for this new facility and my Department will continue to support this project as it moves to the next stage.”
Mr Alan Moore, Director of Strategic Capital Development with the Western Health and Social Care Trust, (Western Trust) said:
“The Western Trust welcomes the decision by the Department for Communities Minister to agree to the sale of part of the Fort George site to the Western Trust. I want to thank the Minister and her local officials with whom the Trust has worked closely over the past number of months. The announcement today will assist in facilitating plans for the Cityside Health and Care Centre at Fort George, bringing together GP and associated healthcare services in an integrated model.”
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey continued:
“My Department has already started a piece of work to revise the existing Fort George masterplan. This revised masterplan will determine the location of the Health and Care Centre on the site and will also provide further clarity in relation to further potential development opportunities for the wider site in the future.”
Fort George is a strategic regeneration site on the west bank of the city and is an 11 acre site. It is strategically positioned off the Strand Road, which is one of the main arterial routes in to the city centre, a key gateway to the City. It is also a river front site.
The planning application (Ref: A/2012/0335/0) was submitted in July 2012 with Outline Planning Permission granted on 2 December 2015 to bring forward a development framework for regenerating the site following an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment.
The Department carried out an Expression of interest exercise in 2018, and paused further marketing of the site in order to give the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) time, given their status as another public sector entity, to develop their proposal and business case for a Health and Care Centre. At this time, it is expected that the WHSCT proposal will utilise around half the site.
The WHSCT’s Business Case for a Cityside Health and Care Centre has received DoF and DoH approval to purchase the required site on Fort George. A Heads of Agreement will be signed with WHSCT to agree in principle the disposal of part of the site. The exact location will be determined when the development framework masterplan is revised.