Bradley asks if Google can be lured to NW

An artist's impression of the new Department for Agriculture headquarters at Ballykelly.

An artist's impression of the new Department for Agriculture headquarters at Ballykelly.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness refused to be drawn on whether or not we can use Project Kelvin to attract Google to East Derry but he said we will soon make history by locating the first ever Government Department outside Belfast in Ballykelly.

DUP East Derry MLA Maurice Bradley asked Mr McGuinness if, “in light of technology giant Google’s announcement last

week of plans for a new building in London - a vote of confidence in the UK as a technological hub - they envisage any spin-off for Northern Ireland given that the Project Kelvin interconnector in Coleraine provides the most secure connection between Europe and America”.

Mr McGuinness acknowledged that “Project Kelvin had done tremendous work” and that he wanted to see this further developed.

But he said the Executive was about to make history with the decentralisation of agriculture and potentially other functions to Ballykelly.

He referred to the ongoing development at the old Shackleton site and said: “I am conscious of what is potentially a huge development at Ballykelly, which I think will bring enormous benefits to people in the north-west, including Coleraine, Limavady and my city of Derry.”

In terms of the Executive’s own plans he said: “The other aspect of Ballykelly is the fact that, for the first time in the history of the state, we will have a Department - DAERA - effectively located outside Belfast on the Ballykelly site.”