Multi-million pound plan to transform Derry city centre and riverfront unveiled – The Irish News

Derry and Strabane council has endorsed a raft of new proposals to completely transform the city’s river front, city centre and walled city in a multi-million pound investment.

Councillors unanimously backed the plan which is contained in an “outline business case” (OBC) to be submitted to government under the Derry Strabane City Deal Inclusive Fund announced in 2021.

Ulster University’s School of Medicine and Innovation Centres of Excellence will form the basis of a new University Square public real at Strand Road which will open onto the River Foyle.

There are also plans to create public spaces to create a one-way traffic system in and out of the city centre. These will be complemented by an overhaul of the Harbour Square/ Whittaker Street/Victoria Market area.

Within the walled city, there are plans to integrate the Tower Museum, into Union Hall Place/Guildhall Square, linking into the existing Craft Village.

A key element of the proposals included a new lighting scheme within the walled city and along the riverfront as well as improved signage and public realm around the Diamond, Shipquay Street and Castle Street.

The proposals include plans for a new "University Square" along the riverfront.
The proposals include plans for a new “University Square” along the riverfront.

A council spokeswoman said the latest proposals involved an investment of more than £180m and followed a number of OBCs already submitted.

These included a planned £102m overhaul of Strabane town centre and a Maritime Museum (£12.7m) at Ebrington in Derry among other proposals. All of the OBCs are expected to be submitted under the City Deal scheme by spring/summer this year.

While not included in the latest proposals, the spokeswoman said there were other plans for long term change.

“Among the proposals not included in the current City Deal funding package but being planned for is the potential relocation of the council’s civic office to the Foyle Street site beside the Guildhall, to allow further expansion of the university, the remodelling of the road space along the remainder of the Foyle Embankment from Harbour Square to Foyleside Roundabout, the relocation of the Bus Station and the possibility of a connecting public transport/footbridge to the NW Transport Hub,” the spokeswoman said.

The proposals were drawn up following the announcement in February 2021 of a Derry and Strabane region city deal.

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