‘Tech’ at Springtown may be redeveloped: Stephen Farry

Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry says the ‘Tech’s’ Springtown campus may be redeveloped but there are no such plans for its campus in Strabane.

The Minister made the comments when pressed by West Tyrone SDLP MLA Joe Byrne.

Dr. Stephen Farry MLA, Employment and Learning Minister, pictured with Professor Deirdre Heenan, Provost of the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster on wednesday. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 14.9.11

Dr. Stephen Farry MLA, Employment and Learning Minister, pictured with Professor Deirdre Heenan, Provost of the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster on wednesday. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 14.9.11

Dr Farry said: “At this stage, there is nothing in the pipeline. There is a potential redevelopment of the Springtown campus of the North West Regional College, but there is no capital spend on the radar for Strabane.”

Mr Byrne pointed to the high level of unemployment in Strabane and suggested this pointed to the necessity for a new build.

“Given that Strabane has suffered so much unemployment in the past and we are trying to get some economic development in the area, does he agree that a business case for a new build would be an advisable opportunity to take for the future?” he asked.

Dr Farry replied: “Yes, in theory. The provision of a revised FE campus will be an economic activity generator. The issue, however, is how far we can stretch budgets in terms of the investments that we are making at present.

“There is a host of other projects that we are currently committed to. I also stress that the economic future of Strabane does not depend on an FE college being redeveloped in the town.

“There are a host of other things that we can do, including working with people directly and their skills through existing provision and what we can do to attract jobs into the area. I am certainly happy to play my role in that regard.”