Derry’s ratepayers will face an increase of around £20 per year after councillors agreed a 2.58% increase in the annual rates.
SDLP councillor Gerard Diver, Chairperson of the Policy and Resources Committee, said the increase, coupled with a regional rate increase of 2.7% will result in an increase of 40 pence per week to the average residential ratepayer.
He said every effort was made to ensure the increase was kept to a minimum but the rise was necessary as part of council’s investment in the city.
“The 2.58% increase includes an additional £207k towards council’s ambitious 5 year capital plan totalling over £115m over half of which will come from external sources,” he said.
“Our commitment to capital expenditure is part of our overall strategic approach in terms of investing in the future to ensure the city will see huge benefits in terms of regeneration and economic investment.”
Mr Diver said among the key council projects are the new £12m new multi-purpose arena at St Columb’s Park and the £4.5million redevelopment of Brooke Park.
He said the £35million overhaul of Templemore Sports Complex and the Foyle Valley Gateway Plan, including the development of the Daisyfield, Riverside Park and Brandywell, “as well as the £9.2m for the proposed development of a Maritime Museum and Archive Centre at Ebrington,” remain on the agenda.
Mr Diver also revealed the annual subvention at City of Derry Airport has increased by 4.7% - the first rise in a number of years.
“The increase has come about following an increase in rates as a result of a re-evaluation of the Airport Estate and anticipated costs associated with the completion of airport vesting cases.”
“Route expansion remains the key priority and the Airport is well positioned to exploit any opportunities that may arise following an extensive programme of capital investment by Council over the past few years,” he said.