Post-election bid for Magee funds being considered

The Ulster University Magee campus, Derry. DER3115MC002

The Ulster University Magee campus, Derry. DER3115MC002

Minister Stephen Farry has recognised that a fresh bid for the Magee expansion should be made after the new Executive is in place.

However, Mr Farry said that any post-election bid would be determined by the strength of the current business case.

The case for the number of undergraduate students at Magee to be doubled to more than 9,000 was submitted back in January. Mr Farry’s department has since sought clarification on this and Derry & Strabane Council yesterday confirmed that additional economic appraisal data was submitted this week.

A Council spokeswoman said that in partnership with Ulster University and the Strategy Board it has presented “a very strong business case” to create “a vibrant university city” that clearly outlines “the huge benefits for the North West region and the North as a whole”. She added: “The expansion of Magee and NWRC will be good for the wider economy in that it will create up to 950 new jobs and generate £44m worth of additional benefit to the economy.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Employment and Learning told the ‘Journal’: “The Minister has committed to take forward the expansion of Magee and recognises the importance of this in terms of regenerating the economy in the North West. The Minister recognises that a bid should be made in the new Executive for the necessary funding, should the business case provide sufficient evidence that this is in the best interests of the North West and Northern Ireland.”