Ulster University buys Foyle College site as part of expansion plans
Ulster University has finally sealed the deal on the purchase of the former Foyle College site in Londonderry, allowing expansion plans to proceed.
A year after it was expected, the university (UU) confirmed it now owns the Duncreggan Road site.
Student numbers at UU's Magee campus have dropped by over 170 in the past two years to just over 4,000, however the purchase of the land and associated expansion plans are expected to help redress this.
A UU spokesman said: "Ulster University has completed its purchase of the Foyle College lands, marking a milestone in the development and expansion opportunities for Magee campus.
"The purchase follows the opening last year of the £11m state-of-the-art teaching centre at the heart of the Magee campus, which has already enhanced the vibrancy of campus life and paved the way for enhanced future capacity at Magee.
"Options for the Foyle College lands will now be explored in line with the University's plans for growth of the Magee campus and its wider estates strategy."
Foyle MP Elisha McCallion said the purchase is part of wider plans to secure a medical school for the city.
She said: "The expansion of Magee is one of the biggest priorities for the continued growth and development of Derry's economy. That expansion has taken a major step forward with the transfer of the land at the site of the former Foyle College to the university."
DUP Foyle MLA Gary Middleton said the land acquisition would be seen as a clear commitment by the university to remain in the city and expand.
"There have been concerns that courses and student numbers have been reduced but when our party has been speaking to the university, they are telling us in terms of their growth plans they want to see the establishment of the medical school, and Magee to become a centre of excellence when it comes to health related courses," he said.