Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Windfalls for several key Northern Ireland schemes in Stormont handouts

New ferries on the Strangford to Portaferry and Rathlin services
New ferries on the Strangford to Portaferry and Rathlin services

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children is not the only the project celebrating a major windfall after yesterday's announcement.

Health Minister Edwin Poots was also given £5m which can be loaned to GPs and dentists looking to improve their practices in a package which also includes:

  •  £1m for a paediatric centre of excellence at Daisy Hill Hospital.
  •  £1m for a paediatric ward and ambulatory care unit at Craigavon Area Hospital.
  •  £900,000 to fund the co-location of the emergency department and GP out-of-hours at Lagan Valley Hospital.
  •  £900,000 for two MRI scanners in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.
  •  £3m for a new logistics and support centre for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

The go-ahead was given for new ferries on the Strangford to Portaferry and Rathlin services.

Several urgent road improvements have also been given the green light, including the A31 Magherafelt and A26 Glarryford road schemes, with an additional 8km of dual carriageway.

Around £1m has been allocated for preparatory and design work on an upgrade of the Randalstown to Castledawson section of the A6 Belfast to Londonderry road.

The Department for Social Development gained £5m to bolster the oversubscribed co-ownership housing scheme, while the same was allocated to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to pay compensation in cases of bovine TB.

DARD also received around £20m in the 2014/15 capital reallocation to support the roll-out of a scheme to enable farmers in Ulster to access superfast broadband.

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