Derry’s Science Park opening within weeks

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Derry’s new £6m Science Park will be completed by the end of this month with the first wave of tenants moving in during August.

The Derry Journal was yesterday given a tour around the building, which will front onto the Foyle embankment at the former Fort George army base.

Northern Ireland Science Park's Director of Corporate Real Estate and Facilities, Mervyn Watley, and Chief Executive, Dr Norman Apsley, pictured outside the North West Regional Science Park at Fort George in Derry.

Northern Ireland Science Park's Director of Corporate Real Estate and Facilities, Mervyn Watley, and Chief Executive, Dr Norman Apsley, pictured outside the North West Regional Science Park at Fort George in Derry.

A number of new tenants can today be revealed, with the company Atlas setting up a mini data centre and NIVHA drug testing equipment and technology experts also to have a presence.

Both companies are already based at the Northern Ireland Science Park’s flagship hub in Belfast.

Derry firm 8Over8 will be taking over the entire upper floor of the new state-of-the-art building, and is currently recruiting staff.

They will start with 45 people and are expected to expand upwards.

The Northern Ireland Science Park's Innovation Centre at the former Fort George army base site is expected to open in August.

The Northern Ireland Science Park's Innovation Centre at the former Fort George army base site is expected to open in August.

The building, brought about by funding from the European Union, will be officially opened during CultureTech festival.

Chief executive of the not-for-profit Science Park Dr Norman Apsley yesterday described the new building as “a skeleton on which we hang all our programmes”.

He added: “What we are kind of aiming for is California in the North West, and what that means is you want people to try to start businesses.”

He said the building will feature a mixture of start-ups, budding businesses and established firms of varying sizes, all sharing expertise and making use of state-of-the-art multi-purpose rooms, facilities and technology. The tenants will be linked to the trans-Atlantic Project Kelvin fibre-optic broadband telehouse, located on site.

Director of Corporate Real Estate Mervyn Watley said that as well as the top floor, the entire first floor is booked, while a number of smaller offices have also attracted new tenants on the ground level. The ground level will also have rentable desk space for those starting out.

It is hoped that eventually the Science Park will house 300 to 350 people.

The Derry park will be the connector with the parent Science Park in Belfast and the other campus of the North West project in Letterkenny, due to open next year.

 

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