Earlier this week, the newly set up Magee taskforce held their first meeting, much to the delight of the Economy Minister and all in the North West equally.

The taskforce will develop and oversee an action plan to expand Ulster University’s Derry campus to 10,000 students. The taskforce agreed its terms of reference and received updates from the Department for the Economy, Derry City and Strabane District Council, and Ulster University about their work to date and how they will support the taskforce in delivering a co-designed action plan by December 2024.

Economy Minister Murphy said:

“I am pleased that the Magee Taskforce has held its first meeting and has already started to hear representations from stakeholders on what would be required to expand the campus to 10,000 students. Achieving this figure is a commitment under New Decade New Approach and a key priority of mine. The expansion of the campus will act as a prime enabler for economic growth in the North West region. I wish the Taskforce members well and look forward to receiving its action plan in due course.”

Pictured at the launch of the Ulster University Magee Taskforce are (l-r) Taskforce Vice Chair Nicola Skelly; Taskforce Chair Stephen Kelly; Economy Minister Conor Murphy; and Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University Prof Paul Bartholomew. Photo Lorcan Doherty

A number of the taskforce members were confirmed this week, including Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive of Manufacturing NI (Chair), Nicola Skelly, Executive Director of the Washington Ireland Program (Vice Chair) and Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University, Moira Doherty, Deputy Secretary, Skills and Education Group, Department for the Economy, Steven Lindsay, Deputy Vice President, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Alison Wallace, Strategy Manager, Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership, Paddy Mackel, Representative from University and College Union, Paul Hannigan, Head of College, Atlantic Technological College Donegal, Rebecca Allen, President, Ulster University Students Union, Dawn McLaughlin, Non-Executive Director, Invest NI, John Kelpie, Chief Executive, Derry City & Strabane District Council, Leo Murphy, Principal and Chief Executive, North West Regional College, Gavin Killeen MBE, Managing Director, Nuprint Technologies Limited.

It is excellent that so many Chamber Board members, past and present are represented on the taskforce, and the Chamber wholly supports their mission and wishes them the very best.

This was not the only bit of good news for education in the North West recently though, as late last week former St. Mary’s College principal Marie Lindsay was among six new members appointed to the board of the Education Authority.

Marie Lindsey

The significance of having North West representation on boards such as the Education Authority cannot be understated. Having a voice which understands both the opportunities and issues in the North West ensures the region will be in the best possible place when it comes to dealing with any problems which arise.

The Chamber would like to wish Marie Lindsay, the other five new board members for the Education Committee, and the entire Magee Taskforce all the best as they move ahead with their respective goals.