Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA, visited the former Ebrington Barracks site in Derry today to be updated on the ongoing regeneration work there.
Speaking during his visit the deputy First Minister said: “It is highly appropriate that at this time of huge political progress what was formerly a symbol of division is now becoming a focal point of a united drive towards creating a better and more prosperous future for all our people.
The regeneration of the Derry City and the North West is something which is a core element of our ambition to create a better life for all sections of our society. This work is a joint effort with my own Department, Ilex, the Department of Social Development, and Derry City Council combining to push forward a wide range of projects and initiatives. I wish them well in their continued efforts".
The deputy First Minister was accompanied by Sir Roy McNulty, the recently appointed Chair of Ilex Urban Regeneration Company which was set up to stimulate social and economic regeneration for the Derry City Council Area.
Welcoming his recent appointment Mr McGuinness said: “Sir Roy’s appointment as the new Chair of Ilex comes at an exciting point in the regeneration of the city. He brings a depth of experience in business and regeneration to the Ilex Board. Sir Roy also has the leadership qualities necessary to place Ilex at the centre of the coordinated regeneration of the city and the North West area securing its economic, social and physical future”.
During his tour of the former Ebrington Barracks site the Minister was apprised of development plans by Ilex Chief Executive, Bill Kirk. An Ebrington Masterplan, launched in October 2006, outlines a mixed-use development, including housing, commercial and public space, as part of which many of the former military buildings will be retained and refurbished.
“The Ebrington development plans for a mixed-use community where commercial, residential and retail space will blend with leisure, culture and tourism facilities provide a unique opportunity to physically and socially connect communities within the city.” Mr McGuinness said.
He went on the say “These plans coupled with the proposals for St Columb’s Park and Clooney will bring benefits to the Waterside, City and the region”.
Notes to Editors:
Established under the Strategic Investment and Regeneration of Sites (NI) Order 2003, Ilex was formally incorporated on 17 July 2003. The company has been set up to stimulate social and economic regeneration for the Derry City Council Area and will take a lead in building an agreed way forward for the wider economic, social and physical regeneration of the area, drawing together the different resources and expertise of the public and private sectors.
Ilex is managed by a Board under an independent Chairman. For administrative purposes it is classified as an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by OFMDFM and DSD.
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