HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 c128WS
Mr. Hume

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make it his policy that the purchase of Fort George in Derry from the integrated development fund does not detract from the overall investment available for Derry. [133006]

Mr. Pearson

As announced, at the launch of Ilex Urban Regeneration Company on 9 October 2003, the Department for Social Development and the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commission have reached agreement, in principle, on the purchase of Fort George and the case has been sent for urgent economic appraisal.

This investment, if confirmed, will be a call on the Integrated Development Fund (IDF). Any further calls on IDF will be assessed on a merit basis in line with the principles of IDF and the overall resources available, and must be fully supported by accompanying business case and appraisal. The purpose of the Integrated Development Fund is to provide additional support to strong wide-ranging partnerships initially in a small number of areas, one of which is the north west. This will enable the production and implementation of agreed comprehensive plans to develop and rejuvenate the area and communities in an integrated way.

I can confirm that the Fund's role is to remove blockages where there are no resources available from any other sources and it is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for existing mainstream funding which is in place or planned for Derry.