Call for ‘chunk’ of DUP-Tory funding to go to Derry Airport

City of Derry Airport
City of Derry Airport

A Derry & Strabane Councillor has called for part of the DUP settlement for backing the Tories to be handed over for City of Derry Airport.

Independent Councillor Paul Gallagher was speaking after the Council’s Annual Governance Statement was presented before its Assurance, Audit and Risk Committee at the Guildhall on Thursday afternoon.

Independent Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Paul Gallagher.

Independent Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Paul Gallagher.

The Governance Statement identified the Airport as one of its ‘governance issues’ for the past financial year.

It states that “a significant number of challenges were experienced” during the year to March 30, 2017 by City of Derry Airport Operations Limited, including Ryanair having withdrawn its Stansted service.

Since then however, following the intervention of the British government, a new bmi regional Public Service Obligation route has been introduced.

Colr. Gallagher however said that the airport could benefit from some of the £400m the DUP secured for infrastructure as part of a £1.5bn package secured in exchange for ‘confidence and supply’ support for the Conservative Party over the next term of government.

He said that it would be helpful if the DUP “put a big chunk of that money into City of Derry Airport”.

He said this would take a burden “not just off us but off ratepayers, who consistently putting in £5m.

“One way to reduce the risk would be to stick the money into that airport,” he added.