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Strategic Growth Partners focus on education and wellbeing

22 October 2021
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Strategic Growth Partnership met virtually today to hear from a range of partners about progress on a number of local projects and the latest progress on the Strategic Growth Plan for the City and District.
The partnership is co-chaired by the community and voluntary sector, the business sector and the statutory sector together with the Mayor, and oversees the delivery of the commitments outlined in the Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan for the City and District alongside Council.
At the quarterly meeting, Members today heard an update from Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster, and members of the senior team, on the recent developments at Magee Campus. It's been an exciting year for UU with the opening of the Graduate Entry Medical School, the addition of a Paramedic Science course, and the relocation of the Health Sciences school to Derry, which was announced earlier in the year. Prof Bartholomew stressed the importance of continuing to grow student numbers in tandem with the ongoing promotion of the standards of excellence and innovation at the campus. Collaborative working is essential to creating the right environment to attract more staff and students, which will help us realise the aspirations of both the City and the university, he told members.
The partnership also received a report from Carnegie UK Trust UK, titled 'Working Together for Wellbeing: Report of the NI Embedding Wellbeing in Local Government Programme'. Derry and Strabane is one of three local councils who have been in engaging with the Trust through the Community Planning process on the Embedding Wellbeing project, along with Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, and Armagh, Banbridge and Castlereagh. The report provides some valuable information on how to better achieve the health and wellbeing outcomes set out in the Strategic Growth Plan and how shared learning can have major benefits across local Councils.
Speaking after the meeting, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Graham Warke, said it had been an informative and positive forum for discussion. "Our Strategic Growth Partnership met for the 10th time today, and since it was established four years ago we have seen much achieved across the spectrum here. Today we heard more about the plans for the development of Magee campus, and work on the issue of wellbeing in partnership with Carnegie UK Trust which will impact on how we shape strategies going forwards.
"It's hard to believe that it's already four years since we first published our Strategic Growth Plan. I'm delighted to hear that progress continues and we can look forward to seeing how this translates in the updated plan which is due for publication next year."
Partnership Members also received a progress update on the delivery of the plan and welcomed indications that 65% of the indicators were showing an upward trend towards progress, with 77% of the actions within the plan being delivered and 11% of projects already complete.
They approved the next steps in the process of delivering the Strategic Growth Plan, and heard more about the forthcoming review of the strategy. A modernised edition of the plan is now being developed reflecting the achievements to date which will go out to public consultation in 2022.
You can find out more about today's meeting and the work of the Strategic Inclusive Growth Partnership at growderrystrabane.com