Inquiry into Derry City Deal and New Decade, New Approach investment to commence

An inquiry into the effectiveness of government investment schemes in the north including the Derry City Deal and funding under the New Decade, New Approach deal will commence this week.

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has invited witnesses to provide evidence on whether or not UK Government investment schemes in the north are operating effectively.

The first session will hear from Ann Watt, Director, Pivotal Public Policy Forum, Paul MacFlynn, Co-Director, Nevin Economic Research Institute and Gareth Hagan, Deputy CEO, OCO global on Wedensday.

In calling for evidence the committee stated: "Northern Ireland has consistently had one of the lowest employment rates in the UK, the result in part of years of underinvestment. Recent UK Government initiatives to improve the region’s economy include funding under the New Decade New Approach agreement and three City Deals for Derry/Londonderry and Strabane, the Mid-South West, and the Causeway Coast. The Belfast Region City Deal worth up to £1bn has now been formally signed."

Hundreds of millions of pounds are being invested in Derry under the City Deal.

The committee says the inquiry will also examine the effects of the Brexit on the attractiveness of the north as a foreign investment destination.

"The session will explore the impact of the Government’s investment schemes while discussing opportunities for further investment. It will also look at the effects of Brexit on the attractiveness of Northern Ireland as a destination for foreign direct investment and take a broad look at the balance of distribution of these funds across the region.

"Further funding from the UK Government is expected from the Levelling Up Fund and the Shared Prosperity Fund which replaces EU funding following Brexit," it states.