Durkan to speak at ‘City Deal’ seminar in Derry this morning

Mark Durkan MP.
Mark Durkan MP.

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan will host a breakfast seminar in the City Hotel this morning to provide people in the North West with an update on the progress which has been made in the campaign for a new ‘City Deal’ for Derry.

The seminar will be chaired by Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood and includes a panel discussion comprising of Professor Deirdre Heenan, local economist Paul Gosling and past President of the Chamber of Commerce, Philip Gilliland. It will be followed by a questions and answer session.

Mr Durkan said: “During the last six months we have pressed the NI Executive for Derry to become the first recipient of a ‘City Deal’ package in the North - not least through discussions with the DETI Minister.

“Since our first seminar in March we have also raised this matter in both the council and the NI Assembly where our motions were agreed calling for a new ‘City Deal’ here.

“The concept of a ‘City Deal’ has also been embraced in a ‘Retail First’ report published by the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) in April, and more recently by the Heenan-Anderson Commission report which recommends that consideration is given to developing a ‘City Deal’ for Derry to address regional inequalities and disparities.

“Many cities and regions in England, Scotland and Wales have already grasped the opportunity that a ‘City Deal’ can offer – which is why I will continue to push for a bespoke deal which could unlock for us all the potential contained in the One Plan.

“I would therefore urge as many people as possible to support this campaign which I firmly believe can deliver the better, more prosperous Derry we all want to see.”