Jobs mission to London

The chairman of a group set up to boost job creation in the North West has told a meeting in London: “We are here to do business”.

Colm Cavanagh, Chair of the not-for-profit group London~Derry Connections Ltd told those assembled at the latest meeting organised by the body that the Derry needs heavy investment by the private sector.

“Derry needs jobs and the only people who will create those jobs are private businesses,” he said.

He added that London-Derry Connections’ aim is to forge stronger links between businesses in the North West and the City of London. “We are assisting businesses with contacts and introductions. And this offer is open to all businesses in Derry, Donegal and Tyrone”.

He added: “London is, of course, the largest city in the EU and a vital world centre of business, investment, tourism and culture. In 2006 Greater London purchased £123 billion worth of goods and services from the rest of the UK and LDC has set out to engage businesses from Derry, Tyrone and Donegal more closely in this vast market place.” Using the example of the successful ‘Make It Back Home’ campaign which generated job creation in the North in the 1980s and 1990s, LDC also encourages NI-born residents in London to re-engage in business with the North West of Ireland. Last Wednesday’s meeting saw people from London and the North West of Ireland gather for the second Business Networking Reception held in Bishopsgate by LDC. Master of Ceremonies Joe Doherty introduced the two speakers: Sir Roy McNulty, Chairman of Derry’s ILEX Urban Regeneration Co, and formerly CEO of Short Bros, the Belfast aircraft manufacturer, and BBC Business Journalist Declan Curry. Sir Roy, who is also deputy chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority in London, gave a speech about the role of ILEX in leading the ambitious urban regeneration plan for Derry. Strabane-born Declan Curry gave a speech declaring strong support for the work of London~Derry Connections.

Invest NI head Karena Vaughan and her colleagues were present and supportive of the promotion work. The next meeting is due in early May 2011. Anyone wishing to be on the (free) invitation list should contact george.webster@derrycity.gov.uk or Joe Doherty at jomodoc@aol.com