Magee expansion is now key for Derry jobs - Chamber

Gavin Killeen, Chamber President.

Gavin Killeen, Chamber President.

Derry’s Chamber of Commerce has warned that the expansion of Magee is now ‘essential’ if the city is to safeguard future employment.

The President of the Chamber, Gavin Killeen, was speaking after it emerged that around 70 jobs are to go at Derry’s largest private sector employer, Seagate in Springtown Industrial Estate.

Mr Killeen expressed his sadness at the job losses and extended his sympathy to all those who would be affected.

He said: “We understand the pressures that Seagate is operating under as a global business. But that is no consolation for all those who will lose their jobs as a result of restructuring affected by changes in the global market place.

“We offer our sincere sympathies to all those affected and call on the statutory agencies, Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Executive to do all they can to generate new employment and to ensure that our workforce has the right skills for the ever changing modern economy.”

Laying out the Chamber’s view of what is needed to create a more successful local economy that generates new jobs, Mr Killeen added: “We must have the right skills base, which means that it is essential that we secure the substantial expansion of the Magee campus.

“In addition, we need infrastructure improvements – particularly the urgent upgrades of the Derry to Belfast and Derry to Dublin roads.

“We also urge Invest NI to do all it can to stress to potential investors the excellence of Derry’s digital connectivity.”

A business case has been submitted to the government for Magee expansion.

Announcing the job losses on Monday, Seagate said the action was being taken to “better position the company for success and growth and to respond to new demand levels within the industry.”

The job losses will affect around 5 per cent of 1,400 strong workforce and the company has said that it intends to use both voluntary and involuntary procedures to achieve the cuts.

In Derry, Segate designs, manufactures and markets storage devices for computer systems.