The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, has welcomed the statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond in his Autumn Budget that the Government is opening negotiations for a City Deal for Derry~Londonderry and Strabane.
He said: “This is extremely positive news today, and is a real acknowledgement of the work that is ongoing behind the scenes to bring us where we are today in such a short space of time.
"We have made huge steps towards progressing with our City Deal proposals since our meeting with the Chancellor in July. I want to welcome the news that Belfast has secured a City Region Deal for the wider Belfast and surrounding areas. We have been working closely with Belfast City Council to ensure that our plans are fully complementary in terms of the impact on the wider region."
Speaking after today’s announcement, Council Chief Executive John Kelpie, explained that significant progress had already been made in completing Strategic Outline Cases (SOC) for each of the catalyst projects within the overall City Deal proposal.
He said these will now be presented to the respective lead Government departments with a view to quickly reaching agreement on a Heads of Terms for a City Deal for the Derry~Londonderry and Strabane.
He said: “Thanks to the extensive work which has gone into the Strategic Growth Plan, we have a solid framework on which to base our City Growth Deal.
"We have identified the key economic projects within our Growth Plan which can come to fruition with the support of a City Deal, and the continued support of our strategic partners.
"Among them are a number of strong innovation projects underway in the city, for example, the Cognitive Analytics Research Lab (CARL) at Ulster University and the Centre for Stratified Medicine at Altnagelvin, which are already delivering ground breaking work.
“Building on the substantial investment made by Council to date, the City Growth Deal provides a further mechanism for delivering on the overall objectives of the Strategic Growth Plan, which will have a transformational effect, filtering into every aspect of life here. I am delighted with today’s very positive announcement by the Chancellor.”