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The Irish Government has today awarded €44.5 million from the Shared Island Fund for a major investment at Ulster University’s campus in Derry to expand higher education on both sides of the border.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, Further & Higher Education Minister Simon Harris and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth Roderic O’Gorman confirmed €56 million in funding for several significant cross-border investments which includes this €44.5 million to build a new teaching and student services building at Ulster University’s Derry~Londonderry campus.

The new teaching building will provide additional lecture and seminar spaces, computer labs and on-campus student services. It will also free up space in other buildings on campus for teaching and research activity.

This investment at Ulster University in Derry will underpin teaching and research cooperation between Ulster University and Atlantic Technological University-Donegal. It will also allow the four North West Tertiary Education Cluster institutions to work more closely together in providing further and higher education in the region.

Making today’s announcements, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said:

“This investment in Ulster University marks a step-change in higher education in the North West. It will help to transform education in the region, and in the medium term will foster new jobs and economic growth. The new teaching and student services building will help to grow student numbers and enhance higher education. It also fulfils our commitment under the New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) agreement to invest in the Derry campus.” 

"The Government is keen to work with a new Executive, once formed, and with the UK Government to fund other investments that will benefit the North West and border regions, and the island as a whole.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD, said

“The investment decisions made today under the Shared Island Initiative will further deepen the people to people links across this island, including in such important areas as health and education – things which impact so much on the day to day lives of us all.”  

“The Shared Island Initiative is forward looking and optimistic for the future of this island. I am ambitious for the island and for the Initiative, and look forward to continued investment in building a connected, prosperous and sustainable island, a great place for all the communities who call it home.”

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, said:

“The announcement today is not just about capital investment in the University of Ulster’s campus, but a signal of our commitment to all-island education.”

“We have made incredible progress with colleagues in Northern Ireland to deliver medical and nursing education on an all-island basis.”

"Today is a major step forward. This is something long sought after but today we are reporting invaluable progress under New Decade, New Approach."

Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University said:

“We are delighted to receive confirmation of this investment by the Irish Government. The funding announced will make a very significant contribution in preparing the campus for significant growth and is part of a larger investment package that comprises our own investment, City Deal funding, Inclusive Futures funding, and Department for the Economy capital grant monies. With our partners, we have an ambitious vision to continue to expand student numbers on our Derry campus and to grow our economic and social impact in the whole of the northwest of the island.”

The other cross-border investments announced by the Irish Government today include a respite and therapeutic centre for children with cancer and their families; new Youth Forum for young people to set out vision for shared future; and two new all-island bioeconomy demonstrator facilities for the agriculture and marine sectors.

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O'Gorman TD, said:

"The Government’s Shared Island Fund is delivering on our all-island investment objectives, including to develop the bioeconomy - a key climate action area, North and South.”

"As Minister with responsibility for Youth affairs and participation, I am looking forward to the commencement of the new Shared Island Youth Forum in September, which provides a space for young people to consider their vision and values for our shared future on this island.”