Significant City Deal and Economic Growth Funding Package confirmed for Derry and Strabane.

The announcement today of a £105M economic package by the UK Government in the Derry City and Strabane City Region has been widely welcomed by City and District partners with the Mayor saying it will be “a significant catalyst for change and economic growth” for the Derry City and Strabane District and the wider North West and expressed his delight that it has been secured during his Mayoral year as a key priority.

The investment package announced comprises a £50M ‘City Deal’ and a £55M ‘Inclusive Future Fund’ and is the culmination of a long period of engagement with Government in relation to advancing priority projects and initiatives within the City and District’s Inclusive Strategic Growth Plan and City Deal proposals.

Reflecting the model recently announced by Government for the Belfast Region City Deal, it is anticipated that the UK Government investment package announced today of £105M for Derry~Londonderry and Strabane will be at least matched by a similar commitment from the NI Executive and will lever further investment from project partners and other third party sources which it is hoped will eventually lead to an overall investment injection of in excess of £300M.

The announcement follows a visit to the City last July when the Chancellor, Philip Hammond met with civic and political leaders to hear of the plans and invited a bid for a City Deal to be formally submitted.

The bid, supported and endorsed by all local and regional political parties and representatives and devised around the key strategic economic projects outlined in the City and District’s Inclusive Strategic Growth Plan 2017-2032.

Led by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the bid was developed in partnership, and with the support of a wide range of local education, business and economic partners – including the Ulster University, the North West Regional College, both the Londonderry and Strabane Chambers of Commerce, the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Visit Derry, City Centre Initiative and the Foyle Port, in consultation with all associated NI Government Departments.

At the core of the bid is education, innovation, job creation and skills development with a key focus being the advancement of the much sought after expansion and growth of the Magee campus of Ulster University.

The investment package announced today, will enable planning and business case development to now proceed on proposals for a significant landmark riverfront university medical education and innovation hub, comprising a graduate entry medical college and centres of innovation, research and teaching excellence in data-driven personalised medicine, cognitive analytics and robotics and automation, eventually delivering over 200 new posts/research assistants at the City’s university and upwards of 2,000 additional students.

The stimulus package will additionally advance the delivery of a range of smart city and digital infrastructure projects and initiatives, further positioning the City and District as a highly digitally enabled location for cutting-edge business development and expansion and inward investment.

The catalytic impact of this could therefore result in the single biggest ever combined and integrated funding injection the City and District, that will enable progress and delivery of other key infrastructure, tourism and regeneration projects contained within the Plan and Bid in both Derry City Centre and Riverfront and in Strabane Town Centre.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle said: “This hugely significant announcement today for the Derry and Strabane District will go some considerable way in addressing the long-standing obstacles to economic development that this City Region and its people face. It is good news and is the result of an enormous amount of work and sustained effort invested by Council and the City and Regional partners to develop, deliver and negotiate on the bid.”

Council Chief Executive John Kelpie acknowledged the collaborative approach and the unified vision and commitment demonstrated by politicians, and partner organisations in development of the bid and the advice and support received regionally and nationally in securing such a positive outcome.

Enthusiastic about the opportunity presented by today’s announcement he commented: “This City and District has seen much progress in recent years economically, physically and socially. It has however significant remaining challenges in overcoming an infrastructure deficit and a legacy of underinvestment both of which have been such inhibitors to sustainable economic growth.

“This funding package, if directed at the key agreed strategic growth projects and if used to lever significant further public and private sector investment, will deliver a new era of unprecedented growth and development for the City and Region providing tangible benefits for all of our citizens and a promising future for our children and young people.”

Other City Deal Project partners reacted equally positively with the Vice Chancellor of Ulster University, Professor Paddy Nixon said, “This investment will now see the rapid development of plans to grow and enhance facilities and student numbers at the Magee Campus including the Graduate Entry Medical School.”

Brian McGrath, President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce said: “This funding is hugely welcome and provides a solid platform upon which to grow and enhance the competitiveness of the City and Region and attract further significant exciting new companies, business prospects and investment.”

Council Chief Executive, John Kelpie concluded:  “The next steps will now be for everyone to continue to work together to develop the necessary detailed business plans and advance the projects through planning and design. We will do this by using this unprecedented opportunity to promote the future of this City and District as a location of choice for all in terms of business, lifestyle and ambition.”

A high-level delegation of senior UK diplomats visited Londonderry in Feb as part of a two day visit to gain a wider understanding of the political structures, strengths, and unique offer of Northern Ireland. The visit was an opportunity to engage local interests and discuss how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with other partners, is delivering support internationally for all parts of the UK, including Northern Ireland. During their visit, the group met with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Councillor John Boyle and senior officers of council where they were given an overview of the council’s Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan and the work the council is doing to secure national growth in the city region. Mayor John Boyle said the meeting was very positive in identifying opportunities the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can help to represent the city and district’s interests abroad and to assist in helping the city region achieve its ambition.

Visting Heads of Mission Discuss Derry City and Strabane Growth Plans

He said it was an excellent opportunity for the council and its stakeholders to engage directly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss common interests in terms of business, trade and investment and education opportunities. The delegation also met with representatives from Invest NI before they travelled to Seagate Technology and the Ulster University. The delegation participated in a walking tour of the Historic City Walls before sampling a range of the finest local food and drink produce a food and drink tasting event at the Bishop’s Gate Hotel that was hosted by Invest NI, before an evening reception hosted by the Mayor. Speaking after the visit the Mayor extended his thanks to the delegation saying it was hugely significant in forging links with the FCO and in sharing information that will help the region with its current business and education challenges.

He said: “This visit by the UK senior diplomats was a very important visit for the city and wider region. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our city and the really positive work we are doing through our Strategic Growth Plan to attract investment, invest in research and education and improve our health and wellbeing. We were able to show the benefits of strategic partnership working between council, the Ulster University and Seagate and welcome the commitment of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in representing the interests of Northern Ireland Internationally.”

Sports people in Strabane can now access state of the art play provision on their doorstep after Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, officially opened the new multi-sport 3G facility at the Melvin Sports Complex.

The £1.2 million project will cater for primarily football, rugby and GAA and is an addition to the wide range of facilities at the centre that includes a sports hall, studios, conference rooms, cryospa, soft play, play park, tennis court, and running track.

The pitch is named after the late Felix McCrossan, the former soccer referee and linesman in the Irish League who had a pivotal role in the growth of the Tyrone Milk Cup tournament.

Funders, stakeholders, elected representatives and Council officers attended December’s opening event where local schoolchildren took part in a Melvin Multi Sport Festival on the pitches that was delivered by Council’s team of sports coaches.
Speaking at the opening, Mayor Boyle expressed his delight that local people could now access state of the art playing facilities on their doorstep.
“I am delighted that sports people of all levels can now access this high spec and state of the art facility that can significantly contribute to our aim of increasing participation numbers in sport and physical activity across the Council area,” he said.
“The Felix McCrossan Pitch provides much needed playing provision for the area and can act as a hub for the community, encouraging more active lifestyles choices and creating a space for groups and teams to come together and socialise through sport.
“The project was completed at a cost of £1.2m which was made up of £590,220 from the Department for Communities Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund and £623,000 from Council.”
Director of Health and Communities at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Karen McFarland, said the project was the latest upgrade to the overall offering at the Melvin Sports Complex.
“The completion of the 3G facility is a welcome addition to the facilities at the Melvin centre,” she said.
“The investment compliments the £2.2 million refurbishment at the Complex in 2014 and the £60,000 upgrade to the Arena Grass Pitch and changing facilities.
“The pitch can host soccer, gaa and rugby games meaning it will be an excellent resource for all the local field sports clubs to access in all weather conditions.”
For further information on prices, activity programmes / timetables or general enquiries contact the Melvin Sports Complex on 028 71 382660, e mail melvin@derrystrabane.com or visit www.derrystrabane.com/melvin-sports-complex.

 

Ends

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The Lord Mayor of the City of London extended an invitation to a number of schools in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area to travel to London in November to take part in his Business of Trust Celebration event at the Mansion House. The invitation comes following the visit in September to the city by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman and senior representatives from the City of London Corporation and the Honourable the Irish Society to attend a high level Londonderry City Region Economic Summit.

Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman

During his visit to the City, Lord Mayor Bowman met with pupils from a number of schools to discuss the Business of Trust and ask for their recommendations for what businesses can do to increase their trustworthiness and help restore the public’s trust and confidence in the financial and professional services sector, and has since extended an invitation to nine pupils from Foyle College, St Mary’s College and St. Cecilia’s College, their teachers and a representative from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business team to attend his prestigious Business of Trust celebration event. The schools’ participation in the event is being facilitated by the Merchant Taylors Guild and the Honourable Irish Society. Edward Montgomery from the Honourable Irish Society has welcomed the inclusion of young people from the Council area in the event saying: “The Lord Mayor of the City of London was very impressed with the young people he met when he visited the city last month and was very keen to get them involved. He said: “The Honourable Irish Society is delighted that the City of London Corporation has recognised our young people in this way and invited them to be part of this important Mayoral initiative. We are very supportive of our Council and our schools and businesses working in close collaboration with the City of London. We can learn a lot from each other and both benefit greatly from close collaborative working and linkages.” As part of the trip the schools will take a tour of the London Guildhall and get a presentation on the City of London Corporation. They will also get a tour of the BT hub, BT Tower and meet recent graduates and apprentices who have joined BT.

Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 airline, today launched its new City of Derry Airport route to Edinburgh in October by launching a £9.99 winter sale.

The new route to Edinburgh commenced in October, with a five-time weekly service, as part of Ryanair’s winter 2018 schedule, which also includes a route to Liverpool.

For further Information  https://corporate.ryanair.com/news/ryanair-celebrates-new-city-of-derry-airport-route-to-edinburgh-with-9-99-sale/

The Lord Mayor of the City of London extended an invitation to a number of schools in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area to travel to London in November to take part in his Business of Trust Celebration event at the Mansion House. The invitation comes following the visit in September to the city by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman and senior representatives from the City of London Corporation and the Honourable the Irish Society to attend a high level Londonderry City Region Economic Summit.

Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman

During his visit to the City, Lord Mayor Bowman met with pupils from a number of schools to discuss the Business of Trust and ask for their recommendations for what businesses can do to increase their trustworthiness and help restore the public’s trust and confidence in the financial and professional services sector, and has since extended an invitation to nine pupils from Foyle College, St Mary’s College and St. Cecilia’s College, their teachers and a representative from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business team to attend his prestigious Business of Trust celebration event. The schools’ participation in the event is being facilitated by the Merchant Taylors Guild and the Honourable Irish Society. Edward Montgomery from the Honourable Irish Society has welcomed the inclusion of young people from the Council area in the event saying: “The Lord Mayor of the City of London was very impressed with the young people he met when he visited the city last month and was very keen to get them involved. He said: “The Honourable Irish Society is delighted that the City of London Corporation has recognised our young people in this way and invited them to be part of this important Mayoral initiative. We are very supportive of our Council and our schools and businesses working in close collaboration with the City of London. We can learn a lot from each other and both benefit greatly from close collaborative working and linkages.” As part of the trip the schools will take a tour of the London Guildhall and get a presentation on the City of London Corporation. They will also get a tour of the BT hub, BT Tower and meet recent graduates and apprentices who have joined BT.

For further Information  https://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/london-mayor-business-of-trust-invite-for-local-schools-1-8696111

On September 10th Derry City and Strabane District Council hosted a high level Derry~Londonderry City Region Economic Summit focusing on the work being done to develop business, education and investment links between Derry and London.

The Derry~Londonderry City Region Economic Summit hosted by the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle, and attended by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman along with senior representatives from the City of London Corporation and The Honourable Irish Society.

The Summit took place at a number of venues across the city and involved stakeholders from the business, education, investment and industry sectors discussing the positive collaborative work being done with the City of London to promote Derry~Londonderry as a great place to do business.

Organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Derry~Londonderry City Region Economic Summit had been organised following a series of engagements and visits between the two cities over the past number of months.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr John Boyle said purpose of the Economic Summit is to deliver the key objectives set out in the Strategic Growth Plan and the opportunities that exist to build and deepen regional engagement between the City of London and Derry City and Strabane District Council.

He said: “Just last month I welcomed senior representatives from the City of London and The Honourable Irish Society where they received an update on the city’s bid for a City Deal and the work being done by the Council and its partners to further develop the existing strong links between Derry and the City London.

“This high level Economic Summit will look at the benefits of doing business in the North West and the opportunities that exist in the City of London for businesses in the North West. The event will highlight the City Region’s key strength’s focussing on the work that is being done through our Education and Skills Delivery Partnership. A key element of the Summit will be the focus on existing industry and the important role they play to the economic growth and productivity to the Northern Ireland and wider UK economy and how we can look at new ways of collaborating and working creatively with the City of London,” he said,

Mayor Boyle added that the common synergy and connectivity between Derry~Londonderry and the City of London is huge significant.

“The City of London is a global leader in areas such as the Financial Services sector. My hope is that recent investments such as that being made by Fintru and the creation of 305 new jobs is a shining example of the opportunities that exist in developing a sustainable relationship with the City of London.

We have a shared history and heritage that can be leveraged into something stronger. Our strong economic history dates back over 400 years to the Plantation of Ulster and in recent years the two cities have worked closely to promote our connectivity and linkages. We intend to build on this so we can improve our economic relationship by working closely with businesses, investors and education providers for the mutual benefit of both cities.”

For further Information http://www.derrystrabane.com/Council/News/High-level-City-Region-Economic-Summit-to-forge-li

A high-level inward investment team from the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia visited Derry, Strabane and Inishowen in October as part of a visit to Northern Ireland.

During their visit to the North West the group met with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Boyle, and visited a number of local businesses, including E&I Engineering in Burnfoot.

They also spent some time at the North West Regional College and the Ulster University Magee campuses to see at first hand the region’s entrepreneurship and innovation and skilled workforce.

The delegation also attended a business engagement lunch with the Chamber of Commerce and met with international investors and local business representatives who are interested in doing business in the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia areas, as well as local companies such as Fleming Agri and Marblehill, who already export to the US.

The visit was just weeks ahead of a forthcoming trade mission to Boston/Philadelphia, which will saw companies from Derry, Strabane and Donegal travelling to the US along with representatives from Derry City and Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council, the Local Enterprise Office, North West Regional College and LYIT.

Among the representatives who visited the city this week from the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia were Mr David Briel (Executive Director, Centre for Direct Investment, Pennsylvania); Mr Richard Kilner (Office of International Business Development, Center for Direct Investment, Pennsylvania); Mrs Sylvie Gallier Howard (First Deputy Commerce Director, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia) and Mr Vaughn Ross (Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Philadelphia).

Mayor Boyle said: “They were very impressed with our offering and how well placed we are in terms of offering cost competitive business opportunities along with high level digital connectivity and a young and well educated workforce.

“They were very keen to further explore the existing trade and export relationships that exist with companies from the North West region and Philadelphia, as well as the wider State of Pennsylvania. We are starting to see the benefits of this joined up and positive approach to establishing strong economic development links and initiatives between the US and the North West region. Our relationship is very strong and there is a real eagerness to develop our relationship further.”

For further Information  http://www.derrydaily.net/2018/10/23/mayor-welcomes-high-level-us-delegation-to-north-west/

North West Regional College (NWRC) has signed two Memorandums of Understanding in the United States, signalling its commitment to international co-operation with other education partners. Samantha Traynor, Vice Principal of North West Regional College has travelled to Philadelphia with the College’s European Projects Officer Bronagh Fikri, to sign a MoU with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Community College of Philadelphia.

Mrs Traynor was part of a high level trade and investment delegation to Boston and Philadelphia lead by Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Boyle, and Seamus O’Domhnaill, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. The visit was part of the ongoing positive work being done by the two Councils to establish strong economic development links and initiatives in the US and will build on the work done over the last number of years in promoting the North West region as an attractive investment proposition and on developing new market and network opportunities for businesses from Donegal, Derry and Strabane areas.

A number of companies from the North West are involved in the trip, as well as third level and further education providers and development organisations from across the North West including Ulster University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, North West Regional College and Udaras na Gaeltachta.

Speaking at the signing of the MoU Mrs Traynor said: “The signing of this MoU in an important event for our College, it’s a great day and one that sees us formalise our educational partnerships, that we have been building and consolidating over the last two years with the wider Penn State through the Department of Community and Economic Development and also with the Community College of Philadelphia.

“The MoU represents the first step in building and consolidating a partnership through education and training with a specific focus on sharing best practice in Work Based Learning to include Traineeships, Apprenticeships including Higher Level Apprenticeships and also the continued professional development of our respective professionals in our workforce.

“There is much to work on together and today marks the next step in building and consolidating that commitment for the benefit of all of our students in the NW City and region in our part of Ireland, in Philadelphia and in the wider state of Pennsylvania.”

For further Information  http://www.nwrc.ac.uk/2018/11/13/north-west-regional-college-signs-mou-in-united-states/