Political rivals unite behind Derry 'City Deal' following Brokenshire meeting

Elisha McCallion and Colum Eastwood.
Elisha McCallion and Colum Eastwood.

Political rivals put on a united front after meeting London's 'City Deal' minister, James Brokenshire, in the Guildhall on Tuesday with both Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion and SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood insisting it's now time to deliver.

Mrs. McCallion said the delivery of a 'City Deal' for the North West must include the necessary economic benefits that meet the needs of the region.

Speaking after meeting Mr. Brokenshire she said: “I welcome continued support for a 'City Deal' which can begin to unlock the economic potential that we have in our city region.

“We have submitted ambitious plans, which I look forward to progressing to the next stage of the 'City Deal' process.

“However, James Brokenshire heard loud and clear that investment from the 'City Deal' must have the necessary economic benefits which meets the needs of the north west, as outlined in the Strategic Growth Plan.

“I will continue to engage with the British and Irish governments, local stakeholders and others to ensure our ambitious plans become reality in the time ahead.”

SDLP leader Mr. Eastwood said: "After a positive meeting with the Secretary for State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, I am pleased that Mr Brokenshire is committed to helping deliver a long-awaited 'City Deal' for Derry.

"The united voice and vision behind the tireless advocacy for the deal is extremely encouraging and the SDLP will continue to work with all parties from across the political and civic spectrum to ensure that the deal is secured.

"Historically the North West has been a victim of under-investment and economic inactivity. The delivery of a 'City Deal' will be transformational for Derry and therefore, it is important that we keep up the momentum to securing this deal."