Science park funding delay concern

MLA Martina Anderson
MLA Martina Anderson

Junior Minister Martina Anderson has expressed concern at the “extensive delay” in the processing of a funding application for Derry’s multi-million pound satellite science park at Fort George.

Ms Anderson has written to finance minister Sammy Wilson expressing concern over what she has described as a lack of progress by the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) in processing the application.

She said: “I have asked Sammy Wilson to use his office to impress on SEUPB the urgency required in processing this application and the inaccessibility of the long delay. The economic and social arguments for the Park have been well made and are not in doubt. Northern Ireland Science Park, Invest NI and many others are convinced of the merits of establishing a Science Park in Derry and believe that it will be a major success. In addition, the development of the Science Park is part of the ‘One Plan’ for Derry which has the support of the entire City.

Ms Anderson said the 13 month delay is “unacceptable.” “Essentially, if work does not begin on the site by August/September 2012, it will not be possible to benefit from the full amount of the funding.

“SEUPB is well aware of these time pressures but don’t seem to appreciate the urgency required in processing the application,” Ms Anderson said.