Earlier this week, Derry City and Strabane Council unanimously endorsed a suite of proposals of more than £180 million to revitalise Derry’s Central Riverfront/Strand Road and Walled City area. This, coupled with Wednesday’s Spring Budget which will see Derry benefit from £20 million in funding through the UK Government’s Long-Term Plans for Towns, means this has been a week of good news for the City’s regeneration.

The aim of this City Deal project is to create a vibrant and thriving Central Riverfront, Walled City and Strand Road area of the City. The plans include £65 million for the regeneration of the heart of our City.

The City will be broken down into 5 regeneration areas. Area 1 will be University Square, which will see the removal of the Queen’s Quay Roundabout and a significant, green public space opened.

Area 2 will be the Strand Road and Queen’s Quay area. From here, the regeneration of University Square will flow further up the river towards the City Hotel with the creation of a greenway.

Area 3 will see significant development of Harbour Square. The development of this area would see the end of road infrastructure’s domination, creating a green space for pedestrians which connects with the Peace Bridge and the Queen’s Quay stretch of river running towards University Square.

Area 4 will focus on the area within the walls and will include the repurposing of the Tower and existing ‘Story of Derry’ space​. The plan is to open the Craft Village via the Tower to Guildhall Square and Riverfront via Magazine Gate/Union Hall Place. The Diamond will be the centrepiece within the Walls.

Finally, Area 5 will focus on Ebrington​ with the DNA Museum, which will include immersive audio-visual experiences and 6 galleries​, an archive discovery zone freely accessible for all​, a state of the art temporary exhibition space, multi-functional learning and event space​ and even café and retail space.

The redevelopment of our city centre should be a priority, and the Chamber is glad to see the Council endorsing this project. This level of redevelopment to key areas of the City will attract more tourists, who will stay here for longer and spend more while in the City, and also create a safer and more accessible city centre for pedestrians. Chamber fully supports Council’s plans and we encourage every effort to ensure this project moves forward at pace.

Images courtesy of Derry City and Strabane District Council