Derry in top 10 in list of growth cities

Derry is in the top ten best cities in terms of growth potential in the UK, according to a new report released yesterday.

The report Growth for Cities 2013, published by PwC and Demos, scores Derry very highly for work-life balance, housing affordability, travel to work times and income distribution. The report’s findings suggest that Derry is in prime position to attract higher levels of private sector investment, to grow its economy and to substantially increase local employment levels.

PwC’s chief economist for Northern Ireland Esmond Birnie said: “If you accept that the measure of a city is not just about GDP and that other factors attract both people and investors . . . Derry/Londonderry shows considerable potential amongst the UK’s smaller cities.”

Paul Terrington, PwC’s regional chairman in Northern Ireland, said while Derry’s advantages may not be immediately obvious, it is an attractive investment location.

“Investment follows skilled workers, world-class infrastructure and competitive operating costs and both Belfast and Derry score on the key criteria on our good growth scale.”

Chamber of Commerce President, Philip Gilliland, said: “The recognition of Derry’s strengths as a city that could be set for substantial economic growth confirms the message that the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce has been putting forward repeatedly – Derry is a great city in which to locate a business, to grow a business, in which to work, in which to live and in which to study.

“We hope this report will help to spread that message across Northern Ireland and to the rest of Ireland, Great Britain and internationally.”

Mr Gilliland added: “The focus must now be on marketing, with a co-ordinated campaign led by Derry City Council. We need Invest NI to continue to promote Derry for investment, stressing to executives the high quality of life offered by the city.

“We also need the Northern Ireland Tourism Board to promote the city to potential tourists; the University of Ulster to promote Magee to potential students; and Derry City Council to promote the city across all these areas of interest.”