Northern Ireland news

More than £700m of new funding for infrastructure, regeneration and tourism projects across NI

Finance Minister Conor Murphy. Picture by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Seamus McKinney

MORE than £700 million of funding for infrastructure, regeneration and tourism projects across Northern Ireland was announced yesterday.

The Executive is to match fund £562m for City and Growth Deals and £55m for an Inclusive Future Fund.

There will also be up to £100m for complementary projects.

Along with UK Government funding announced in May 2019 it brings total investment to £1.2bn.

Finance minister Conor Murphy said: "This investment package signals our desire to build a productive, regionally balanced and inclusive economy.

"The Executive is currently reacting to the Covid-19 emergency. We have already provided over £500 million in grants and rates relief to support businesses survive the ongoing pandemic.

"We also need to plan for the longer-term. This investment of over £700 million provide investment in local areas and much needed jobs and offers hope for the future."

The money will go to areas across Northern Ireland, with match-funding of Derry and Strabane's City Deal increasing the package for the region to more than £200 million.

It will be used for projects including a Maritime Museum at Ebrington, the Walled City Experience and the redevelopment of Queen's Quay.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the City Deal has the potential to transform the economy in the north west.

"We have been forced to wait for far too long for the chance to build more for our people and our communities. Now that we've secured the potential of the City Deal, we can't take our foot off the pedal," he said.

Sinn Féin assembly member Martina Anderson said: "This package will be transformative for the entire north west region and required the collective attention and action of the Executive, both governments and other partners.”

The announcement was also welcomed by DUP MLA Gary Middleton as a “significant step forward”.

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