Something about this that doesn’t fit

Ongoing work at the Fort George site, pictured yesterday. 0402JM83

Ongoing work at the Fort George site, pictured yesterday. 0402JM83

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I have to confess that it was with considerable cynicism that I listened to the announcement by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland that the go-ahead has been given for a North West Regional Science Park at Fort George, envisaged as a satellite of the NI Science Park in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. I took a wander last week around that site off the Branch Road where four imposing buildings gaze blankly at one another. Only one of the buildings, the poetically-named Building Three, is occupied. Or half occupied. The inscription at the entrance to the site announces the “Ulster Science Park”. On my own calculation, there are 300,000 sq. ft. here, designed as a science park but lying empty, five minutes away, if you stretch your legs, from Fort George. Meanwhile, the Executive has made £12 million available for a 50,000 sq. ft. Science Park at Fort George.

There’s something about this which doesn’t fit.