Ulster uses Clinton visit to twist arms

November 24, 1995

The University of Ulster has gone on the offensive over its peaceline campus for West Belfast. It has joined forces with local MPs and community groups to demand to know if the government intends to go ahead with the Pounds 98 million Springvale project. They hope to use American president Bill Clinton's visit to the province next week to force answers from the Northern Ireland Office.

University sources fear the office is delaying an announcement that it is giving the proposal the thumbs down until after the trip.

UU vice chancellor Trevor Smith told a press conference the time had come for the authorities to make up their minds and warned against the tendency in the province to "wallow in failure". "We feel that immediate government approval would be a timely vote of confidence in the people of North and West Belfast."

The MPs whose constituencies include the area earmarked for the campus, SDLP member Joe Hendron and Unionist Cecil Walker, said they had repeatedly asked for a meeting with education minister Michael Ancram but had been given no response.

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