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 £210million funding being provided equally by the Executive and the Westminster Government, a further £40million investment from Derry City and Strabane District Council and its delivery partners means the region is set to benefit from a £250million 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.”
Notes to editors:
1. The signing of the Heads of Terms is the funding commitment for the proposed projects which are still subject to the expenditure approval process.
2. Proposed projects include capital investment in a range of Digital and Innovation initiatives; health-focussed projects, including the Graduate Entry Medical School; significant regeneration projects for Derry Central Riverfront, Strabane Town Centre and a tourism-led regeneration project.