MP ‘not convinced’ Fort George is appropriate site for new health hub

Derry’s MP says she remains unconvinced that the Fort George site on Derry’s riverfront is the appropriate location for a new health hub.

Sunday, 28th July 2019, 11:09 am
Updated Sunday, 28th July 2019, 12:09 pm
Fort George.
Fort George.

Sinn Fein’s Elisha McCallion was speaking after a party delegation met with the Department of Communities to discuss the issue.

Earlier this year, the Department announced that it had entered an agreement with the Western Health Trust to develop a proposal to locate a new Cityside Health and Care Centre at the waterfront location.

The Trust said the planned hub had the potential to bring about 500 new and relocated jobs.

However, Elisha McCallion says all options for Fort George must be fully considered.

“While we are fully supportive of the proposal to create a health hub in the city, we are not convinced that Fort George is the most appropriate site for it,” she said.

“The health hub could be built on any number of sites locally,” she added. “Fort George is a prime regeneration space on the city’s riverfront with massive potential to spark regeneration and job creation. We must ensure we maximise that potential.”

According to the Foyle MP, the city has failed to properly develop such key sites in the past.

“We cannot allow that to happen again,” she said.

She said it appeared that not all options have been explored to ensure the optimum social and economic outcomes for Fort George and the wider region.

“We will be discussing these issues with the Permanent Secretaries of both the Department of Health and the Department for Communities. We will be stressing that any process going forward must ensure that the potential of the Fort George site is maximised for the benefit of the whole city and region.”