Big increase in Derry share of poor areas, report shows

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Eight years ago central Creggan was the only place in Derry in the 20 most deprived neighbourhoods in the North.

But a new study into deprivation has noted a rapid deterioration in that situation.

Last year the Strand, Diamond, Brandywell, Ballymagroarty and most of the Galliagh area joined Creggan among the twenty most deprived districts.

The city’s high number of poor areas has been highlighted in a new paper compiled by Anne Devlin, Keara McKay and Dr. Raymond Russell for the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Research and Information Service.

Their report shows how Crevagh 2 (Ballymagroarty and part of Hazelbank) was the fourth most-deprived ‘Super Output Area’ in the North last year; the Strand was the fifth most deprived; the Diamond, the sixth poorest; and Creggan Central, number ten on the list. The Brandywell (13) and Shantallow West 1, incorporating much of the Galliagh area (19), were also in the top twenty.

Derry as a whole remains in the top three most deprived areas of the North, alongside West Belfast and North Belfast, unsurprisingly given its urban character.

The authors stated: “Firstly, the majority of the most deprived SOAs tend to be located in urban areas, notably Belfast North, Belfast West and Foyle,” the authors stated.

“Strabane is also a deprivation ‘hot spot’.

“At the same time, the least deprived areas are typically found in the suburbs of Greater Belfast and surrounding areas.

“Secondly, there is evidence of an overall East/West divide, with higher levels of deprivation concentrated in the West, and areas of lesser deprivation more likely to be in the East.”