£12m funding for science park
European funding worth £12million has been allocated to the creation of the North West Regional Science Park, it has been announced.
Friday, 30 November 2012
The project entails the construction of a 50,000 sq ft science park facility at Fort George, in Derry, and a 20,000 sq ft extension to the co-lab facility at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
The funding, from the European Union's INTERREG IVA Programme, was revealed on Friday.
It is hoped that the park will aid the establishment and development of high-quality technology and knowledge based businesses in the north west of Ireland.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the park has the potential to create up to 285 high-value jobs.
"The economic development of the North West has been given a huge boost today as the £12million North West Regional Science Park is launched.
"The Science Park will be the first building on the Fort George site and it is a key element of the One Plan, the regeneration plan for Derry," he added.
"As part of its wider commitment to Derry, and the North West region, the Executive has committed over £700million in infrastructure.
"This investment in road, rail, education and health infrastructure is vital if we are to see the City and the region developed and regenerated."
The Sinn Féin MP continued, saying that the creation of jobs at the park will "assist local businesses and aid economic growth in these challenging times."
"Its focus on knowledge based entrepreneurs, investors, business professionals and global corporations will provide a strong community, closely linking the worlds of research, business, finance and the public sector."
SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan described the park as "a key regional project which matters not just to Derry but the whole North West."
He continued: "This significant funding package is a welcome sign of the potential that a new Science Park would offer to secure investment and employment in Derry.
"People will be very excited about this and see for themselves the opportunities that are available - not only to bring business in, but also to have a platform for growth for our own businesses here.
"This will not only bring in some significant and emerging players in global business terms but also provide new opportunities for local companies who would be well-placed in the market for tradable services."