‘Progress plans for Magee growth’ calls

Member of Sinn F�in Youth pictued collecting signatures for the petition in support of Magee. (1106MM10)

Member of Sinn F�in Youth pictued collecting signatures for the petition in support of Magee. (1106MM10)

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Derry should be known as a university city, the organisers of a petition in support of the expansion of Magee have said.

The petition, which is being organised by Sinn Féin, calls on the University of Ulster and the Department of Employment and Learning to progress plans for the growth of the Magee.

It was launched in the city centre on Saturday and an online version of the petition is also available.

The petition has also been supported by university lobby group, U4D, which has encouraged people to sign it.

Joe Dunn, chairperson of Sinn Féin Youth, which helped launch the petition said: “There is a groundswell of public opinion and appetite across Derry and the North West in favour of the speedy progression of all aspects of the expansion at the Magee campus, both in terms of student numbers and new build.

“We have spoken to many young people here today who are currently doing A levels and want to stay in Derry to do their degree course but find they have to leave home and go to Belfast, Liverpool and universities in Scotland. That is clearly wrong in 2013. Derry should be known as a university city.”

Padraig Canavan, chair of U4D, said people are frustrated at the pace of progress on the expansion plans. “It is essential that the Executive, the Department for Employment and Learning and the University of Ulster work in partnership to fulfil the aspirations and promises that have been made. U4D, and indeed the city, are frustrated by the glacial pace of change.

“It is unacceptable that the city’s economic and social development is being held back by a mutual blame game. We say this to the people of the city - ‘please take the time to lend your support to this’.”