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Derry City & Strabane

City Deal Partners Present a New Webinar Series, Innovation Stories

Three months on from the signing of the Heads of Terms on the historic Derry & Strabane City Deal, a new Innovation webinar series is planned for businesses in the North West.  Northern Ireland is about to embark on a Decade of Innovation, as set out in the recent publication of the Department for the Economy’s 10X Economy paper.

Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Derry City and Strabane District Council and Ulster University are collaborating on a new webinar series entitled Innovation Stories to showcase and to inspire innovation in the region.

The first event is targeted at businesses, employees considering upskilling and anyone with a stake in the innovation or City Deal agenda. The webinar is hosted by Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and takes place on 3 June 2021 at 11am – 11:45am and is entitled, Innovation for Growth.

The webinar will address:

  • Where can the innovation journey begin for industry in the North West? How ambitious should companies be? What supports exist in terms of research and advice;
  • Dr Justin Quinn, Ulster University and Dr Timothy Patterson, Founder of Heysense Ltd will share their innovation story (through a case study) about their work in CDE Global, Cookstown, Northern Ireland;
  • Participants will learn more about what support mechanisms exist at Ulster University such as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), a three-way partnership between a business, a university, and a high-calibre graduate known as an associate, that offers a company a chance to collaborate on a business opportunity, idea or innovation to help the business gain the knowledge and capability it needs.

Rosalind Young, Investment Manager at Derry City & Strabane District Council who will present at the webinar said:

“This is an opportune time for local businesses to consider how they will embrace innovation as part of their recovery plan. While Covid-19 has been challenging, it has also demonstrated the resilience, collaborative spirit and the extensive supports that exist for business too. We are encouraging NI business leaders to consider how to tap into the existing research know-how that exists currently on our doorstep at Ulster University’s Magee campus. This webinar which ‘breaks down’ the term ‘innovation\ into a tangible story and case study, is a ‘way in’ for business people who wish to envision what’s possible. Through the visionary Derry and Strabane City Deal, a whole new innovation eco-system will develop here in the region. The people behind the City Deal are inviting businesses to hear best practice and to leave with an idea of how they will play their part in the Decade of Innovation that is ahead.”

One of the academics and researchers behind the planned, Centre for Industrial Digitalisation, Robotics and Automation (CIDRA), Justin Quinn of Ulster University’s School of Computing Engineering and Intelligent Systems at the Magee campus said:

“With Industry 4.0 upon us, a new form of manufacturing is about to begin which will change the face of industry. It will bring about huge opportunities for the industries who embrace it and challenges for those who do not. Work is underway now to bring about a Centre for Industrial Digitalisation, Robotics and Automation in Derry. We are inviting businesses to consider how they would like to be part of the Derry City Deal. Covid-19 forced many a business to reconsider how they operate, so in many ways we have seen that rapid change is possible. We would like to help companies to begin their innovation journey now so as to be ready to take advantage of centres like CIDRA and CARL when they are in place. ”

Derry City & Strabane

Advice and Support Available as Part of Alcohol Awareness Week

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, has said being aware of recommended limits and the effects of alcohol, and education around the potential dangers of alcohol, is extremely important.

The message comes as part of Alcohol Awareness Week, which takes place from Monday 14th to Sunday 20th June. It is supported by the Public Health Agency and the five Drug and Alcohol Coordination Teams and centres around encouraging people to take a closer look at their drinking habits by counting their units to see if they’re staying within the recommended weekly limits.

Mayor Warke said that taking some time to evaluate personal alcohol consumption is recommended.

“Many people like to enjoy alcohol in moderation, but sometimes it can be very easy to find yourself consuming more than is recommended without even realising.

“This can have a negative impact on both mental and physical health, so it’s hugely important that everyone consuming alcohol is aware of the legal age, the recommended limits and is checking in on how that measures up with their own habits.

“The stresses and challenges of the past 16 months, and how much we have all been staying at home, may have led to some people drinking more alcohol than they typically would have before, so Alcohol Awareness Week this year is a particularly good opportunity to pick up a few helpful tips on how you can make small changes that will have a big difference in ensuring you can enjoy alcohol safely and in moderation.”

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Derry City & Strabane

Further Regeneration of St Columb’s Park En Route

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced investment of almost £230,000 for a regeneration project designed to replace a pedestrian entrance and to improve car parking facilities into St Columb’s Park. 

An investment of £183,535 from the Department for Communities, £25,000 from the Executive Office and £21,160 from Derry City and Strabane District Council will enable the improvements to commence.

This funding package will see the creation of a new pedestrian entrance opposite the Peace Tree, giving better and safer access/egress to St Columb’s Park from Ebrington Estate and wider links to the Waterside and City Centre. The car park will be resurfaced, reconfigured and realigned allowing for disabled parking and will include ramps, a new pedestrian pathway linking the car park to the new entrance and new crossing points.  Soft landscaping will further enhance the area with the planting of hedging and trees.

Minister Hargey said: “I am delighted to announce this funding which will progress and complement the continued regeneration of St Columb’s Park.  This project will enhance this stunning public amenity providing a safer, welcoming space for wellbeing, where we can walk, cycle and enjoy the extensive green space benefiting both the local community and visitors to the area.

“My Department continues to support our town and city centres recover from the impacts of Covid-19 and with increased usage over the past year it is more important than ever to invest in our cities green spaces.”

Welcoming the news, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney said: “I very much welcome the announcement of this funding which will enable us to finish works at the gateway to our beautiful St Columb’s Park, complementing the landscaping already completed on the Avenue. It will make accessing the park easier and more visually attractive for local people and visitors alike.

“Council continues to prioritise and invest in green space provision across the City and District and to identify opportunities to develop and enhance our green infrastructure to benefit the health, wellbeing and convenience of everyone. I want to thank our partners in the Department and The Executive Office, and commend everyone involved in the fantastic work on this project to date.”​

This project has been jointly developed by The Executive Office and Derry City and Strabane District Council.  The project will be managed by the Council who have already successfully completed a number of public realm projects in this beautiful park. 

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