Ramsey: Magee capital funding rejection ‘needs clarity’

University of Ulster, Magee.
University of Ulster, Magee.
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SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has raised concern about rejection of a funding bid from the University of Ulster Magee for a new teaching block.

The SDLP employment and learning spokesperson raised the matter with Department officials following a briefing on financial provision. Mr. Ramsey queried why a £10m bid from University of Ulster, Magee for a new teaching block was rejected, whilst a £35m bid for the new campus in Belfast was approved.

Mr. Ramsey said: “We had a briefing from officials on the June monitoring round and I questioned where in the system the proposed new teaching block for Magee was in terms of being reviewed and approved. I have information from the Department stating the bid was rejected, yet we have a bid from the University of Ulster to the Department - three times the amount what Magee had asked - for the Belfast campus of the University which was accepted.

“Officials confirmed to me the Magee application was being looked over by the Treasury and the NI Office given it was made through the ‘Supporting United Communities’ framework, which raises concern.

“I am calling for an urgent update from the Department about this application to build a new teaching block at Magee, and I will also be contacting the NI Office about their input, which I am surprised at given the Belfast £35m bid was made through our own Strategic Investment Board.”