Editorial - When symbolism is not enough

We live in a country where symbolism is treated with the utmost but there comes a time when action is much more important.

For the last decade in Derry we have been continually told about the potential and opportunity presented by the former British military sites at Ebrington and Fort George.

The transformation of these sites, regarded with negativity by the majority of the people of the city due to their associations with the conflict, was presented as a crucial litmus test , not just for the regeneration of Derry but for the progress of the peace process itself.

When the old security barriers came down the possibilities seemed to open up but over the years they seemed to recede into the future.

Then, particularly at Ebrington, when the public was given access things started to move forward at a faster pace. The many successful outdoor events held at Ebrington signalled a real change and the symbolism of a city moving forward was plain for all to see.

While this has welcomed by everyone it is only part of the process. Symbolism and positivity will only take us so far. It created a great feel-good factor throughout the city but further concrete action is needed to build on this.

Now that it appears to be moving forward the next step of the process needs to involve tangible development which will create sustainable employment for the people of Derry and the wider north west.

Those responsible for driving and managing this redevelopment, including the newly appointed chief executives of Derry City Council and Ilex, need to ensure that this process continues and delivers as soon as possible.

This more than anything will help create a lasting sense of positivity and prosperity for people throughout the city.