Sinn Féin MLA, Maeve McLaughlin (Foyle) has called on the Magee Campus administration to produce its development plan for the University expansion including the Foyle College lands.
Maeve McLaughlin said:
“I understand that to date, no business plan for the expansion of Magee Campus, incorporating the Foyle College lands, has been received by the Minister. This is not good enough, if the powers that be, at Magee, are serious about developing the Campus to the level and standard befitting its leadership position in leading change and regeneration in the North West it cannot wait for completion of transfer of Foyle College lands. It must produce the business plan and development proposals now. Otherwise if it waits for completion then we will once more be playing catch-up!
“Education Minister, John O’Dowd has delivered on his commitment to facilitate the move by Foyle College which in turn would free up the land for Magee expansion. In contrast to the seemingly lackadaisical approach on the Magee expansion, the Minister has already received a complete business case for the University’s Belfast Campus.
“The expansion of Magee – which includes an increase in student numbers – is one of the catalyst programmes from Derry’s ‘One Plan’ and it has the support of the City as evidenced by our cross-party delegation to Stormont in November. We are arguing for the student population at Magee to be increased to approximately 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students. An expansion of this scale will be necessary if the regeneration process is to meet its goal of creating 15,000 new jobs in the region over the next 10 years, and if we are to achieve the up-skilling of the resident workforce envisaged in the Oxford Economics’ skills forecast for the North West.
“An expansion of this scale has the potential to generate approximately £84 million for Magee and £210 million in indirect revenue for the Northwest not to mention, an additional 750 staff positions on Campus. In 2012, Sinn Féin led a group of key organisations from the North West, successfully lobbying for over 600 additional student places at Magee.“I am calling on the Magee administration to give a confidence boost to the Region by publishing its business case for University expansion, thereby demonstrating its commitment to the goals contained in the ‘One Plan’.”