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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-foyle-west-26679152

The accountancy firm RSM McClure Watters is to undertake the business case for the expansion of the University of Ulster's Magee campus.

The business case will assess the need to increase student places there. Work on the project will begin at the end of March.

A draft report is expected by the end of June, with the final report due in September.

The plan will assess provisions needed to serve 9,400 students.
Only a business case - but could transform the city someday!
 

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Council votes in favour of Londonderry name change

A decision by Derry City and Strabane District Council to change the official name of Londonderry to Derry has been described as "sectarian" and "disgusting" by unionists.

The new move by the council was voted upon at the Guildhall yesterday evening.

It passed with the full support of Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the Independent councillors, despite opposition from the minority unionist block.

The council will now write to the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan of the SDLP, who is from the city itself, on how to go about the change.

RTE
http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/0724/716882-derry/
 

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good lord, I understand the power of a name, but was there an attempt to get the whole city behind any potential name change? I doubt it. Or more likely is this just cheap political point scoring, wind up the protestants after the twelfth going into the apprentice boys parade. Community relations have been pretty good in the city, can't have that now can we.

(My understanding is they don't have the power to change it anyway)
 

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(My understanding is they don't have the power to change it anyway)

They don't. Only legislation or Royal Prerogative can change the official name of a city in the UK. Needless and wholly unhelpful shit stirring by the council.

You would have thought the council in the north-west would have other issues to be prioritising such as chronic unemployment.
 

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You would have thought the council in the north-west would have other issues to be prioritising such as chronic unemployment.
Don't get me wrong, if the residents of the city want to change its name, it should happen, but when they are ready, as a united community. A bit like the flags issue didn't.

As of July 2015 Foyle has the highest claimant count (not quite u/e i admit) in the UK, definitely bigger issues, I guess those are just too difficult to solve...
 

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This name change motion much the same as the flag removal at Belfast City Hall has come at the wrong time. Sinn Fein should have bigger fish to fry. #Welfare. Same with parades, Unionists should been shooting at a different goal. Not so. 2 tribes united by stupidity.
 

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Fort George: Londonderry site receives planning approval



The environment minister has given his approval for the major regeneration of the former Ministry of Defence site at Fort George in Londonderry. The proposal for the 6.2 hectare site includes residential, office and education uses, as well as retail, cafes, bars, restaurants and parking. The former Army base was acquired by the Department for Social Development in 2004.

Mark H Durkan said: "This is great news for Derry and the wider region." "This is a major regeneration site in the City and the approval now provides certainty on the scale and type of development that will be acceptable," the minister added. "It also allows work to be completed on the decontamination of the site and ensures that the site is ready for inward investment. "I believe that this approval will also serve to reinvigorate this part of the city both physically and functionally."


The Northern Ireland Science Park officially opened its Londonderry headquarters on the site last year

The plans provide for up to 82,274 square metres of floor space and allows for the decontamination and infilling of the site. In 2011, it was revealed that the Ministry of Defence was spending more than £3m decontaminating Fort George. It had been polluted with heavy oils and diesels, as well as small amounts of heavy metals and Japanese knotweed. The contamination of the site and its location within the city's flood plain presented a number of environmental and traffic impact issues.

Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey said he was pleased those issues had been resolved. "This is a major step towards the further redevelopment of a strategic site which, as the success of the Science Park shows, can host the type of employment that will create real social and economic benefits for the city," he said. "I am pleased that my Department, in liaison with DoE, has been able to overcome each of these challenges and put in place a blueprint to guide all aspects of the future development of the site."
 

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Same here. That is absolutely excellent news!
An update on the railway station, which is very good news. Looks like they have bought the old station now and plan to restore it as a Victorian terminus railway station.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-foyle-west-37571816

The railway line will be running an hourly service to Derry next year (now that investment in the line has taken place to allow enough passing points for this to happen).

By 2020 it will be not just a beautiful journey but also a nice Victorian-style finishing point.
 

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Great infrastructure news for the North West -

Atlantic Hub gets first planning permission for Northern Ireland campus
Atlantic Hub says that the Londonderry data center will meet "up to Tier 4" standards, accommodate hyperscale operator demands, and enjoy direct connectivity to North America, through a fiber optic submarine cable linking the city to New York.Atlantic Hub says that the route presents the fastest connection between North America and Europe, offering 8Tbps of capacity with sub-59ms latency.
 

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Job creation in Derry is shocking. Id love to know how Citys in the repuic fair in comparison. I get the impression Limerick and Cork do much better in terms of foreign investment and job creation but then so does just about anywhere in the ROI.
 

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Will be interesting to see how this develops, that article ultimately talks about 300 MW of data centre capacity, however the most recent transmission forecast statement by SONI and EirGrid suggests there is much less capacity than that available (page 99).

Certainly the NW area of NI would appear to be the ideal location for data centres serving financial services- the transatlantic cable lands near Coleraine i think, so any centre up there would have the fastest and most secure access to the markets in New York.
 

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Job creation in Derry is shocking. Id love to know how Citys in the repuic fair in comparison. I get the impression Limerick and Cork do much better in terms of foreign investment and job creation but then so does just about anywhere in the ROI.
Pretty much. Early on Shannon Industrial Estate helped the west coast, and later the lower Corp tax. But basically NI and ROI's economic strategy is the same highlighting skills to attract foreign investment. Just all our eggs are in Belfast with a few local led hotspots in Craigavon / Newry / Mid Ulster.

The basic major difference is that while Limerick and Galway are smaller than Derry they have university student populations of 15-16k each (Wikipedia); not to mention the Institute's of Technology and such. Derry has a few thousand and is begging on Magee expanding to 10,000. They should be getting 15,000 at a minimum.

And motorways (while recent enough) connecting them to Dublin and themselves. The A6 and A5 dualling will go a long way to helping the North West properly industrialise - but its the skills piece that is key.
 

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I heard on the Radio Ulster business show a few years ago that despite the amazing broadband speeds in Derry no high tech company has moved there to make use of it. Not sure if that's true or not
You do hear snippets

"In June last year, the Irish News revealed that Allstate was planning to open a new custom-built 850-seat office in Derry to boost its operations in the area and allow for expected staff expansion. "

 

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Pretty much. Early on Shannon Industrial Estate helped the west coast, and later the lower Corp tax. But basically NI and ROI's economic strategy is the same highlighting skills to attract foreign investment. Just all our eggs are in Belfast with a few local led hotspots in Craigavon / Newry / Mid Ulster.

The basic major difference is that while Limerick and Galway are smaller than Derry they have university student populations of 15-16k each (Wikipedia); not to mention the Institute's of Technology and such. Derry has a few thousand and is begging on Magee expanding to 10,000. They should be getting 15,000 at a minimum.

And motorways (while recent enough) connecting them to Dublin and themselves. The A6 and A5 dualling will go a long way to helping the North West properly industrialise - but its the skills piece that is key.
I cant talk for Galway but for Limerick I think the key for investment is having Shannon International Airport 15mins out the road, good motorway links around the city and as mentioned a high student population (about 30k) which for a population of 115,000 isnt too bad.

I think Limerick recently has re-invented itself, re-branded itself and showcasing itself as a cheaper, better and easier place to live than Dublin, I think Derry needs to look at something similar against Belfast to start getting investment
 

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Hopefully they make a good job of it. Much of Derrys maritime significance is overlooked. Until I went on a City tour I had no idea how much of a US presence there was in Derry or that the U boat fleet was sunk just off the coast. You probably wouldn't be able to see a thing but it would be an awesome wreck to explore if you where into scuba diving freezing waters.
 
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