Peaceline campus gets Pounds 15m

November 11, 1994

The European Union is poised to announce a Pounds 15 million injection for the University of Ulster's proposed "peaceline" campus in West Belfast.

Full details of the package agreed by European Commission president Jacques Delors are to be announced early next month.

Overjoyed University of Ulster chiefs believe that the cash will act as pump priming money for the Springvale Project, which has been costed at around Pounds 98 million.

The university has confirmed it is pursuing a number of sources of potential funding but said nothing has been finalised.

Joe Hendron, MP for West Belfast, who was instrumental in winning the EU backing, said: "I am now confident the Springvale project will become a reality. This considerable sum of money will be a major contribution to the project and will be directly earmarked for Springvale."

But the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education, which could be most adversely affected if the new campus gets a final Government go-ahead, has fired a warning shot.

Deputy director Patrick Murphy said: "There is a need for additional investment in education in Northern Ireland but we would ask whether it should go towards a single university if other institutions are going to be deprived.

"We would argue that in the province's economy which we are all trying to build there is as much of a need for quality technicians as for graduates.

"The bulk of the funding will still have to come from West-minster and the commitment to such a major project over the long term must be taken into consideration."

The province's department of education is still conducting its own feasibility study into the campus, which is aimed at spearheading the economic regeneration of the area. An earlier study by consultants Touche Ross estimated that the new campus could create around 700 jobs.

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