The government has outlined details of a £100 million-plus funding package for Londonderry.
The investment is made up of £50 million in funding for the Derry and Strabane City Deal and £55 million of additional support through a new Inclusive Future Fund aimed at tackling deprivation and employment issues in the city.
The government had already signalled its intent to part-finance a city investment deal similar to the agreement secured by Belfast. The government has committed £350 million to the Belfast city deal.
The Londonderry package was announced ahead of today’s new round of Stormont talks aimed at restoring power-sharing in Northern Ireland.
It comes weeks after the dissident republican murder of journalist Lyra McKee in the city. Many believe the extremists are exploiting disaffection and deprivation experienced by young people in parts of the city to bolster their ranks.
Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said the Derry City and Strabane City Deal would boost innovation and the digital potential of the region and unlock local partner funding.
She said it would enable new projects such as a Centre for Industrial Digitisation, Robotics and Automation and a programme of investment in the city’s digital connectivity infrastructure – subject to business case approval.
“This £105 million investment package is a major boost to the economic potential of the region and will help strengthen the foundations for greater prosperity and a stronger, more united society,” she said.
“The new Inclusive Future Fund recognises the unique circumstances facing the region and will help create new opportunities for the whole of the community, especially for young people.
“As secretary of state, I am deeply committed to building a dynamic, prosperous, outward-looking Northern Ireland that works for everyone, irrespective of community background.”
The money offered through the Inclusive Future Fund will focus on delivering greater prosperity and social benefits by tackling issues such as deprivation and youth unemployment.