The Lord Mayor of London plans to help Derry use its “historic link” with the City of London to achieve future prosperity.
Roger Gifford told the ‘Journal’ that he hopes the Square Mile can help Derry achieve its “real ambitions”, especially in the technology sector.
Mr Gifford made the comments during a two day visit to the city with Ian Luder, Governor of The Honourable The Irish Society, to celebrate business and cultural links between Northern Ireland and the City of London Corporation.
Having spent Sunday visiting cultural connections and taking part in the ‘Bright Brand New Day’ peace-building initiative, Mr Gifford yesterday called into Digital Derry start-up cluster CultureTECH before attending a performance of the renowned choir of St Cecilia’s College.
He said that a key aim of his visit was to make a “strong affiliation” with Derry’s CultureTECH. “We have the Tech City on the edge of London which in just a few years has seen 50,000 jobs created and I came to help make a close connection with CultureTECH.”
The Tech City hub is modelled on the US Silicon Valley and includes technology giants such as Cisco, Google and Intel. Mr Gifford said that the “stronger the links are the more opportunity there is” for Derry.
“Derry clearly wants to achieve success in the creative arts in particular and I think this is a very good idea,” the banker said.
He added: “The City of London has historic links with Derry and what we really want to is turn that into prosperity.”
Mr Gifford said the relationship renewal between the two cities will be ongoing.
“This conversation will continue and continue with Invest Northern Ireland too.”
Mr Gifford, who has visited the city a couple of times in the past, said Derry looked great following a lot of “investment in the future”.
“It is a real tourism attraction,” he added.