Invest in ‘critical’ Derry projects

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SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has called on the Executive to fund plans to upgrade Derry’s road links and Magee expansion after the Enterprise minister deemed them ‘critical’ to economic growth.

Mr Eastwood made the plea after raising the matter during Assembly questions to DETI Minister Arlene Foster.

He said he welcomed the minister’s acknowledgement in the Chamber that proper infrastructure is ‘critical’ to securing inward investment in the North West.

He added: “It seems everyone is in agreement that developing Derry’s roads and our university infrastructure is central to growing the city region’s economy.

“Why then has the Executive not committed the funding needed to expand Magee and upgrade the A6 and A5 as planned.

Mr Eastwood went on:

“The minister has acknowledged the serious legacy issues in relation to economic inactivity in our city and has conceded that there is a real need to address these issues.

“Until the Executive invests heavily in these key road projects and the expansion of our university, Derry’s economy will remain shackled. Without such action Derry will not achieve its economic potential and will not be able to attract the high-end foreign direct investment needed to fuel the city’s prosperity.”