Derry on course for 4000 new jobs

Derry City Council Chief Executive and Town Clerk, Sharon O'Connor. Picture Martin McKeown. 28.10.11
Derry City Council Chief Executive and Town Clerk, Sharon O'Connor. Picture Martin McKeown. 28.10.11

Derry’s council chief believes the 4000 tech jobs outlined in the city’s regeneration plan can be created by 2020.

Sharon O’Connor, Derry City Council’ chief executive, says massive investment in the city’s telecommunications infrastructure means Derry is well placed for huge economic growth over the next decade.

“The simple fact is that Derry has the fastest and most reliable connectivity options for organisations that depend on accelerated data transfer,” she says.

“Firms that want to be located in a globally-connected digital environment, such as FirstSource and Singularity, have established market advantages by capitalising on Derry’s unique offering. “

Around £80million has been injected into flagship programmes over recent years - including a connection to the a transatlantic data cable through Project Kelvin, creation of the Intelligent Systems Research Centre at the University of Ulster and introduction of free Wi-Fi access across the city centre.

In October of last year, BT completed a £3.7m project that allowed Derry to become the only city the UK and Ireland to achieve 100% fibre optic broadband connectivity, putting every home and business in reach of 40Mbps download speeds, increasing up to 80Mbps this year.

Derry is now leading Europe in telecoms infrastructure developments with locally-based firms capitalising on lower costs and greater connectivity speeds and bandwidth than Hong Kong, Tokyo, London or New York.

Ms O’Connor says the creation of some 4000 tech based jobs - as outlined in Derry’s ‘One Plan’ - is well within reach.

“The option to build and expand international operations while reducing the costs is attractive for large businesses. Derry’s high capacity connections and direct pathway to North America and Mainland Europe are up to 20% lower than comparable locations such as Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester and Amsterdam.”

“Derry is primed to be the leading city in the UK and Ireland’s for ICT innovation and digital innovation for the next decade.”

A further £77M is earmarked through the ‘Growing the Digital Economy’ strategy to help attract foreign direct investment and support local business development.