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£700m boost for post-Covid recovery plan in Northern Ireland

Glyn Roberts

An extra £700m of new funding has been announced for infrastructure, regeneration and tourism projects as Northern Ireland plots a post Covid-19 economic recovery.

The Executive said it will match fund £562m for city and growth deals and £55m for the Inclusive Future Fund.

It also committed to providing up to an extra £100m for complimentary projects.

Retail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts said the funding is "a significant step towards a post Covid-19 economic recovery plan for our local economy".

He added: "Any recovery plan must be regionally balanced ensuring that investment in infrastructure is a priority alongside the regeneration of Belfast and Derry."

First Minister Arlene Foster said the announcement was "significant and highly positive".

"This will allow a range of proposals to proceed in the north west that have been worked up subject of course to business case approvals".

The match funding for the city and growth deals goes along with UK Government funding announced in May 2019 and brings the total investment to £1.2bn.

DUP MLA Gary Middleton hailed the funding as a huge step forward for the north west.

"This will allow for progress on some of the key projects such as the Maritime Museum at Ebrington, the Walled City Experience and the redevelopment of Queens Quay," he said.

And SDLP leader Colum Eastwood added: "This is good news that must be followed by commitment to fully expand Magee."

Belfast Telegraph