New owners of 15-acre Arntz site to consider future plans

The new owners of the Arntz factory site in Derry have said they hopeful the already approved plans for a Medical Hub will be delivered for Derry.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 10:09 am
Part of the Arntz site in Pennyburn.

Edmund Simpson of Fortuna Enterprises Ltd said a Medical Centre on the cityside was “badly needed”.

The Simpson family have been a major investor across Derry, Inishowen and the wider north west region for decades, and are the owners of the popular Brunswick Moviebowl, which is located next to the Arntz site, and the Tul na Rí bar/ nightclub/ restaurant complex and Simpsons supermarket in Carndonagh.

The family-run company are also major builders across the region and have been credited with reviving numerous establishments locally.

Mr. Simpson told the Journal that they were looking at the wider Arntz site as a “blank canvas”.

“This is the last big site in the town like this.

“One thing that is required in Derry is a medical centre. Personally I want that to happen.”

He said there is also planning for a supermarket, and that the owners will now look at the potential for leisure provision and office provision.

They plan to explore various options for development in the coming months.

Full planning permission was granted to a different group of developers back in February 2019 for a cityside medical centre and supermarket / restaurant complex following years of preparatory works. The applicants at the time had envisioned leasing the medical centre site to local health authorities and GP practices for a primary care cityside health facility, and proposals for the overall project, including site works, access and traffic management had been consulted on.

It is thought progress on the long-standing commitment to widen the Buncrana Road will be key to the future potential of the site.

The Arntz factory closed a decade ago, and the owners at the time said they wanted to leave a legacy for the people Derry.