City Deal: Murphy to recommend £105m in further funding

derry waterfront
Image caption Securing city deal status has been seen as integral to Derry City and Strabane District Council's long term economic strategy

The Finance Minister Conor Murphy is to recommend the executive approves £105m in further funding for the Derry and Strabane City Deal.

The UK Government announced £105m for the City Deal in May last year.

Mr Murphy said the Department of Finance will table a paper to the executive seeking to match the funding.

The bulk of the funding is earmarked for Ulster University's expansion and Magee Medical School.

The funding package had previously been beset by delays due to it being dependent on a devolved executive at Stormont.

If the executive agree to match the funding this would bring the overall package to more than £200m.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Martina Anderson said that Conor Murphy's recommendation was 'good news for the people of Derry and Strabane'.

Mr Murphy's comments in the assembly came from a question put to him by party colleague, Martina Anderson.

The newly-appointed Foyle MLA told BBC Radio Foyle that Mr Murphy had written to her expressing his intention to bring the recommendation before the executive and show his support.

Speaking to BBC Foyle, Ms Anderson said: "It is a recommendation from the minister to the executive - which is crucially important".

Ms Anderson highlighted the need for the funding in realising the Magee Medical School, regeneration of Strabane town council and the reinvigoration of the Foyle riverfront.

No timeframe

"This is a good healthy sum to invigorate the economy in the north west, specifically here in Derry," Ms Anderson said.

The Foyle MLA added: "We need all the executive colleagues and different ministers to support this. We have been waiting far too long for expansion at Magee and the medical school."

When pressed on a timeframe, Ms Anderson did not specify when the funding would likely be released and whether it was likely to meet the March budget.

Image caption The investment could see Ulster University house a new medical school on the city's waterfront

"We need to take this stage by stage, there is no point in trying to get this when answered now, what we have today is good news for people of Derry and the people of Strabane", she said.

This funding would need to meet the May deadline to fulfil the 2021 intake of new medical students at Magee.

The expansion of the university and the medical college in the north west has long been regarded as a catalyst for economic growth in the region.