Derry business chiefs have told the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland that the city’s economic conditions must be improved.
Representatives of Derry’s Chamber of Commerce met with Labour MP Vernon Coaker on Friday during a visit hosted by Foyle MP Mark Durkan.
Chamber chief executive Sinead McLaughlin said: “We had an extremely productive meeting with Vernon Coaker, for which we thank him. We are pleased that he found the time to visit Derry and that he took the opportunity to have an in-depth meeting with us. We also thank Mark Durkan’s office for arranging the visit.
“We discussed in detail the City of Culture year and how it will support, and be supported by, the business community of the city.
“We also stressed to Vernon the factors that are needed to further improve the economic conditions of the city.
“These are the improvements to local infrastructure, which means more than anything an urgent upgrade of the Derry to Belfast road. We also emphasised the need for the substantial expansion of the University of Ulster’s Magee campus, to provide the graduate skill base that the city needs to attract higher levels of investment and to assist local businesses to expand. We found the meeting to be very valuable and believe that Vernon did as well.”
Mark Durkan accompanied Mr. Coaker during his visit to the city which included tours of local companies Seagate and Pakflatt.
He also dropped into the Nerve Centre, attended a North West Community Workshop, visited the Magee campus of the University of Ulster and met with local church leaders.
Mr Durkan said: “The fact that Vernon Coaker has once again taken time out to come to Derry shows he is committed to keeping as well-informed as possible.
“He impresses me as someone who is amiable, keen to learn, anxious to help and ready to talk straight.”