County Derry/County Londonderry

‘Mark Three’ New Town – Designated 5 February 1969

Unlike Craigavon and Antrim, Derry/Londonderry was not designated to attract overspill population from Belfast but as a means of delivering economic and industrial development and reducing unemployment. Derry/ Londonderry has had to cope with an inherent sense of physical isolation, as well as enduring 25 years of violence and civil unrest. Its strategic location on a river estuary in Ireland’s North West has historically and geographically defined its role over the centuries as the principal city of the region. Today, Derry/Londonderry is a major service centre for the region. It has some pockets of severe deprivation and has suffered in the economic downturn, but is undertaking an ambitious regeneration programme to address its problems. It is a university city and was UK Capital of Culture in 2013.

Key facts:

  • Location: 120 kilometres north west of Belfast.
  • 2011 Census population: 87,820, in 33,814 households.
  • Local authority: Derry City Council, Department of the Environment Northern Ireland Executive.
  • Local Plan status: Derry Area Plan 2011 (adopted 2000). Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland up to 2025. Regeneration Plan for Derry/Londonderry.

New Town designation:

  • Designated: 5 February 1969.
  • Designated area: 36,610 hectares.
  • Intended population: 94,500 (population at designation: 82,000).
  • Development Corporation: Worked to an Area Plan that was like a New Town masterplan but included both strategic and local objectives. Detailed plans for each area of the city followed. Development Corporation wound up 1 October 1973.

Figures taken from Derry/Londonderry ‘5 minute’ fact sheet – TCPA New Towns and Garden Cities, Lessons for Tomorrow research, available here.

Council website:

Information about regeneration:

Local museums and archives:

Museum of Free Derry:

Photo credits: