A City Deal for Derry will provide an economic transformation for the wider North West region, Secretary of State Karen Bradley has said.
Karen Bradley was speaking during a visit to Derry yesterday hot on the heels of Tory colleague, Chancellor Philip Hammond, last week.
Mr Hammond has formally invited Derry to put forward an official ‘City Deal’ bid, and the Secretary of State yesterday met local political, business and community stakeholders at the Guildhall to discuss the next steps in progressing this.
Speaking after the meeting, she said: “Numerous local partners have already put a huge amount of effort into progressing a City Deal bid, especially Derry City & Strabane District Council who have been at the forefront in developing the basis for a City Deal proposition. It is now crucial that we work together to maintain the current momentum towards submitting a bid for consideration.”
Ms. Bradley also met with the PSNI and representatives from the Fountain and Bogside areas in light of the recent unrest, as well as visiting Colin Davidson’s ‘Silent Testimony’ exhibition at the Nerve Visual Gallery.
When they met yesterday, Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion challenged Karen Bradley to set aside her party’s ‘toxic’ pact with the DUP in order to restore the power-sharing institutions.
The Foyle MP said: “People are angry that their rights are being denied. They look at the Tory government and they see an administration that, in its desperation to cling to power, is prepared to placate and defend the anti-rights and anti-equality position of the DUP. These are communities that have borne the brunt the of austerity cuts and they are equally angry that the DUP is propping up a government that has overseen savage cuts to our public services like health and education.”