Economy Committee told new business case for Magee College expansion needed and projected £300m capital and £100m resource costs money department does not have

A new business case for the expansion of Magee College will need to be submitted as the one previously lodged with the Department of the Economy is now 'out of date'.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 12:16 pm
Magee College.

That's according to a senior civil servant who told members of the Stormont Economy Committee on Wednesday morning that the business case for the expansion of the local campus in 2016 had expired.

Deputy Secretary Skills and Education Group at the Department, Heather Cousins, told the committee that the estimated capital cost of increasing the number of full-time students at Magee to 9,400 was projected at £300m, while the it would cost a further £100m in resource funding.

This, she indicated, was money the Department "just do not have".

The recently agreed 'New Decade, New Approach' accord that led to the resurrection of Stormont identified ‘bringing forward proposals’ for the expansion of numbers at Magee to 10,000 as a ‘key priority’ in a ‘potential Programme for Government for 2019/20’.

However, the Secretary of State Julian Smith said this was a matter for the new Stormont Executive, which under 'NDNA' was supposed to "publish, within two weeks of the restoration of the institutions, the fuller details of an agreed Programme for Government".

This still has not happened.

More to follow.