Welcome for new hospital wing and A5 investment

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Stormont investment that will see work start on the A5 dual carriageway and Altnagelvin Hospital get a new wing has been welcomed in the north west.

The north’s finance minister Sammy Wilson told MLAs on Tuesday that around £500million was available for capital projects .

Around £330m will fund two sections of the A5 , between Derry and Strabane and Omagh and Ballygawley.

A further £28m will be spent on a new wing at Altnagelvin.

Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney welcomed the funding for the Derry hospital.

“The news that Altnagelvin is to get a new hospital wing is welcome news indeed given the number of people who are now accessing it for treatment.

“As a regional hospital Altnagelvin caters for people right across the North West including people from Derry, Donegal, Tyrone and Fermanagh. It provides a growing range of services including renal services so it is important that the capacity of the hospital grows at the same rate.

“Over the past few years capacity at the hospital has been under pressure and this new wing will help relieve that pressure and allow more people to avail of treatment close to their homes.

“This extension will also help either to secure or create jobs and I am calling for local social clauses to be built into the scheme in order for local labour to benefit from this multi million pound contract.”

Meanwhile SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood says the A% funding is “welcome news”.

“The upgrade between Derry and Strabane is particularly welcome, finally providing an appropriate road infrastructure between the two. This will improve road safety, cut journey times and enhance business connectivity.

“Likewise the upgrade between Omagh and Ballygawley will also garner these same positive effects.

“It is important however that the Executive goes further in giving a commitment to fully complete the A5 dual carriageway between Derry and our capital in Dublin.

“This was the promise made to the people of the North-West in the St Andrews Agreement. A piecemeal implementation will not suffice’.

“It is therefore important that further discussions are had with the Dublin government to ensure that the project is fully implemented. This will ensure the completion of the high grade inter-city road network between all the cities on this island.”