4,000 Ilex jobs; Clock Tower and rail uprade included in programme
THE Draft Programme for Government (PfG) 2011-2015 expects Ilex to create 4,045 jobs, decontaminate Fort George and build its Ebrington Clock Tower and 200-space car park by 2015.
The programme was published last week by the Executive alongside companion documents - the Northern Ireland Investment and Economic Strategies.
The Executive plan expects visitor numbers and tourism spend in Londonderry to be doubled during UK City of Culture 2013/14 and for the Coleraine to Londonderry railway line to be completed during the same year.
First and Deputy First Ministers, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, outlined the details of the Programme - which is out for public consultation until February 22 next year - last Thursday at the Assembly.
Under ‘Priority 1’ of the programme which aims towards ‘Growing a Sustainable Economy and Investing in the Future’ a number of key outcomes for the Ilex regeneration company are set.
Next year 1175 jobs are to created by Ilex and key partners in the public, community and private sectors; the Development framework will be completed, and outline planning approval for Ebrington and Fort George will be secured.
Opportunities for development at Ebrington will also be opened to the market in 2012/13.
By 2013/14 another 1670 jobs are to be created by Ilex and its partners; the decontamination programme at Fort George is to be completed; and the Ebrington Clock Tower and car park platform (200 cars) projects are also to be completed.
And by 2014/15 1200 jobs are to be created along with the completion of the overall £23m infrastructure investment programme at Ebrington.
The UK City of Culture 2013 also falls under the first priority of sustaining the economy and investing for the future.
By 2012/13 a creative industries hub is expected to be in place at Ebrington for UK City of Culture 2013; by 2013/14 visitor numbers and visitor spend will be doubled; and by 2014/15 the City of Culture programme will have been delivered.
Elsewhere, the upgrade of the Londonderry to Coleraine railway line falls under ‘Priority Three’ of ‘Protecting Our People, the Environment and Creating Safer Communities.’
The Programme says that phase 1 - the re-lay of end sections at Coleraine and Londonderry and the completion of essential bridge works (subject to no legal challenge to procurement exercises) - will be completed in 2013/14.
Phase 2 - a new signalling and passing loop (subject to no legal challenge to procurement exercises) - is to be substantially completed by 2014/15.
Many other projections in the Programme will also affect the city if they are realised. The plan supports the promotion of 25,000 jobs and the attraction of £300m in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by 2015.
It aims for the devolution of the corporation tax rate; the establishment of social clauses in public contracts as successfully implemented in the construction of the Londonderry Peace Bridge; a £50m liquidity loan for small businesses; the fast-tracking (6months) of 90 per cent of big jobs-boosting planning decisions; and the support of
200 projects through a Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF).
The Executive also wants to deliver 8k affordable homes; establish a new 11 council model for Local Government by 2015; and make the Education and Skills Authority (ESA) - which will replace the Western Education and Library Board (WELB) - operational by 2013.
People will have to pay for plastic bags by 2013, every Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) property in Londonderry will be double-glazed by 2015; whilst 30 public landscape improvement schemes will be rolled-out province-wide to encourage private sector investment.
The plan also promises £40m for the regeneration of deprived areas and a further £40m to help improve pathways to employment throughout Northern Ireland.
The £80m total will be administered through the Social Investment Fund (SIF). Equally, the programme wants to actively seek local agreement to reduce ‘peace walls;’ to reform and modernise the Prison Service; to prevent water charges and hikes in student fees; and to establish a Ministerial advisory group to explore and bring forward recommendations to the Minister of Education to advance shared education.
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Weather for Londonderry
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South