Factory Girls artwork progress questioned during local meeting

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The Department for Social Development has admitted that progress “has been slow” in relation to the delivery of the long-awaited Derry Factory Girls sculpture project.

The issue was raised by SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly at the March meeting of Derry & Strabane Council’s Governance and Strategic Planning Committee following a presentation by the Department for Social Development on the transferring of regeneration powers.

Asking where the project is at, Colr. Reilly said the Factory Girls project, designed to honour the tens of thousands of women who formed the economic backbone of the city for over 100 years, has been “in the system for many, many years” and had received support from all parties, including colleagues no longer sitting in the Guildhall chamber.

Paul McNaught from the Department for Social Development’s North West Development Office responded said that they were still working with the Council regarding the matter, but added that there was “still difficulties to overcome”.

He said the DSD now has new costings for the project, to be located back to the Guildhall, and the next step will be for the Council to submit the planning application. “Progress is slow,” he said.