City Deal plan must be ‘above politics’ - Chamber

Jennifer McKeever
Jennifer McKeever

Derry’s business community is backing a City Deal “focused on innovation”, local Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer McKeever has told Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley.

Ms McKeever was part of a delegation comprising political, civic, education and business representatives which met with Ms Bradley in Derry today.

Ms McKeever said: “Our meeting with the Secretary of State Karen Bradley involved a very positive discussion on proposing a City Deal which is focused on innovation.

“We discussed how a good deal for Derry will be an antidote to Brexit - one which embraces our geographical position as a cross border economy and has innovation at its heart.

“The importance of our politicians getting back into government was raised yet again.”

Mrs. McKeever said the fact remains that it will be very challenging to achieve any deal without a functioning Northern Ireland Executive.

“Even if we were to ignore the current leadership deficit at Stormont, difficult technicalities resulting from a lack of devolved government pose serious barriers to achieving any City Deal for Derry,” she said.

“We may need our politicians back in power, but the local business community wants a City Deal proposal that is above politics. We want a proposal that challenges expectations and lifts ambitions for the North West region.”