Fort George site explored as location for new primary health care hub

Date published: 20 February 2019

The Department for Communities (DfC) and the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) have entered an agreement to enable the Trust to further develop the proposal of locating a new Cityside Health and Care Centre at Fort George.

The agreement, initially for 12 months, will give the WHSCT time to get the necessary business case approvals and funding confirmed.  No further marketing of the Fort George site will take place while the viability of the proposal is being considered although this remains as a contingency option if required.

The move follows an Expression of Interest exercise undertaken by DfC to test the appetite for investment in the Fort George site. 

Paul McNaught from the Department for Communities said: “Fort George is a strategic regeneration site that has huge potential to create real social and economic benefits for the City.

“The Department is committed to maximising its potential and is therefore delighted to work with the Trust to explore this ambitious development which not only delivers key central Government priorities but is also in line with the Strategic Growth Plan adopted by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

“Remediation works at the site have now been completed and Outline Planning Permission is in place.  The site is well placed to progress to the next step.”

Dr Bob Brown, Director of Primary Care & Older People within the Western Health and Social Care Trust, added: “The Trust is committed to the delivery of this Cityside Health and Care Centre project which is seen as a high priority for investment.

“This development will enable both Trust and GP Medical Practices to work together to further expand and enhance local health and social care services currently delivered from widely dispersed accommodation throughout the City.  This will also facilitate the roll out of primary care multi-disciplinary teams - a development already at pilot stage with approximately 200 posts planned for the WHSCT area.  Allied to these direct health service employments, it is envisaged that the implementation of a Data City Health Analytics Project, via C-TRIC as part of the City Deal submission will create approximately 250 additional posts initially, a proportion of which will be located at Fort George.”

The development of a Cityside Health and Care Centre is anticipated to bring up to 500 whole time equivalent permanent jobs (new and relocated) which will deliver mostly nursing, social work, allied health professional and administrative roles. 

The Health and Care Centre is a critical project within the Department of Health's Primary Care Infrastructure Development (PCID) programme and is an essential element of the transformational agenda for health and social care.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Fort George is a strategic regeneration site on the west bank of the city and is a level 6.2 hectare site. It is strategically positioned off the Strand Road, which is one of the main arterial routes in to the city centre, a key gateway to the City. It is also a river front site. The planning application (Ref: A/2012/0335/0) was submitted in July 2012 with Outline Planning Permission granted on 2 December 2015 to bring forward a development framework for regenerating the site following an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment
  2. The Expression of Interest exercise ran from 17 September 2018 to 9 November 2018. In total 11 responses were received 
  3. The remediation works were carried out by Deane Public Works Ltd.  The works are completed with only minor snagging to be done
  4. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office on 028 9082 3505 or email press.office@communities-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110
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