Belfast Telegraph

Bright future for Londonderry – McCausland

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Social Development

Social Development Minister McCausland has visited a number of projects and community groups on a day-long visit to Londonderry.

The Minister began his engagements with a visit to the Triax Neighbourhood Renewal area. Firstly he visited the Volunteer Investment Programme at the Gasyard to discuss the project’s first private sector contract with the Venue. He moved onto the Fountain Estate, meeting with local community representatives and residents to discuss deprivation within the wider Fountain community.

During a tour of the refurbished Tower Museum, the Minister said: “I am proud that the Northern Ireland Executive, through my departments’ UK City of Culture Infrastructure Fund, was able to fund these impressive new facilities in the Tower Museum.

“The museum has a key part to play in explaining this city’s position in local history. It has a major contribution to make in keeping our diverse and rich cultural past alive and to help us understand how our country has changed and developed over time.”

For his final engagement in Londonderry, the Minister toured the construction site of the landmark Northwest Science Park site at Fort George. He said: “Northern Ireland Science Park has a successful track record in Belfast and I am pleased that the Executive, through DSD, could facilitate the northwest park’s construction. I am keen to see the Belfast park’s success replicated here in Londonderry.

“When up and running next year the Northwest Science Park has the potential to create hundreds of high quality jobs in the northwest.”

He added: “I am very impressed by the dedication of local people and the progress on all the projects which I visited today in Londonderry today and I believe there is a bright future for the city. I also wish to reaffirm the Executive and my commitment to the northwest and call on everyone to fully engage with each other, statutory authorities and government to maximise the areas’ potential.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Volunteer Investment Programme is based in the Gasyard in the Triax Neighbourhood Renewal Area the Department has provided funding of £84,370.31 over three years with a completion date 31 March 2015.

2. The Tower Museum project was awarded £157,750 from the UK City of Culture Capital Infrastructure Fund to improve access to the facilities and the overall visitor experience.

3. The Fort George site is owned by the Department for Social Development.

4. Over £12million of funding, from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, has been provided to deliver the project.

5. As part of the project a 20,000 sq ft extension to the Co-Lab facility at Letterkenny Institute of Technology will be created establishing a NISP presence across the whole of the North West Business Technology Zone. The combined sites have the potential to create up to 285 added value jobs by 2019.

6. Project partners include the Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) Foundation Ltd, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the North West Region Cross Border Group (NWRCBG).

7. Match-funding for the North West Regional Science Park project has been provided by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland. DSD has provided a further £1million towards the project.

8. Planning Permission was granted on 4 June 2013.

9. See photos from the Department for Social Development in our collection at:

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