Advanced plans for a massive £25m project to transform Derry’s riverfront and help address mental health issues locally are being unveiled in the city today.
The ‘Our Future Foyle’ regeneration project will have the power to bring significant economic and health benefits for the city and wider North West region, those behind it have claimed as they prepared to launch the project this morning.
A planning application for the largest art installation ever constructed in Northern Ireland along the Foyle Bridge is expected to be lodged in the New Year.
The 800m long, illuminated Foyle Reeds Sculptural Intervention, comprised of 12,000 large individual LED colour changing aluminium reeds, is designed to become a positive landmark and help prevent suicide.
A first of its kind anywhere in the world, the project could lead the way in community digital interaction within Europe.
As well as the Foyle Reeds project, there are also plans to develop a Foyle Bubbles project.
This involves a series of 40 moveable riverside pods designed to stimulate enterprise and job creation. These will have artificial intelligence embedded, and can change colour and illuminate at night.
The third element of Our Future Foyle is Foyle Experience, involving high profile artists creating the largest digital sculpture park in Europe.
All three strands of the project have been included in Derry’s City Deal bid.
The project is spearheaded by the Royal College of Art’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland.
The overall concept has been developed over the past two years through extensive engagement in a bid to transform the banks of the Foyle and Foyle Bridge by attracting investment, culture and tourism, whilst delivering support for mental health through interventions designed to address and raise awareness of suicide prevention.