Plans for two major new Fort Goerge hubs to be submitted

John Andy Bonar LYIT, Paul Clancy Catalyst Inc, Philip Maguire, Eliza Harvey, Andrew McDonald, Philip Gilliland (all Catalyst Inc), Paul Hannigan, Patsy Donaghy, Henry McGarvey (all LYIT) Photo: Lorcan Doherty Photgraphy.
John Andy Bonar LYIT, Paul Clancy Catalyst Inc, Philip Maguire, Eliza Harvey, Andrew McDonald, Philip Gilliland (all Catalyst Inc), Paul Hannigan, Patsy Donaghy, Henry McGarvey (all LYIT) Photo: Lorcan Doherty Photgraphy.

Planning permission is to be sought for two new buildings on a similar scale to the 50,000 sq ft Innovation Centre at the Fort George site, it has been confirmed.

Norman Apsley, chief executive of Catalyst Inc. - the new name for the NI Science Park- told the ‘Journal’ yesterday that it hoped to have the application in by the end of this year.

The new buildings will have a strong cross-border emphasis, strengthening ties with the Letterkenny Institute of Technology’s facility, which was developed in tandem with the Derry project with funding from the EU.

Dr Apsley said they were very pleased with how the North West sites in Derry and Letterkenny, which have around 500 people employed with various companies and projects, have taken off.

“Our whole experience of Derry-Letterkenny has been very positive. Everything that is formally lettable is let, although we always take individuals or small groups- people who should be there,” Dr Apsley said, adding: “We are pleased with what has happened here. We have more enquiries than we can cope with. Interest is high, and Letterkenny is the same. I must say we have also been delighted with the response of many of the schools to our activities.”

He said the money to develop the new projects would be sought largely from the private sector, and the project forms part of a 10-year plan which aims to create 5,000 more jobs across the North and secure £100m investment.