‘Resource vortex’ sucking investment away from Derry region: Eastwood

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood.

A “resource vortex” is sucking investment away from the Derry region, Colum Eastwood has said.

The SDLP leader has called for a policy of regional “economic fairness”.

He’s also urging politicians to engage in meaningful discussions to restore Stormont powersharing following the General Election to help free-up decision making.

Addressing a meeting of business leaders in Belfast, he said: “Some have accused me of developing policies that would only suit my own city of Derry - which as a candidate in this election, I make no apologies for.

“However, my belief in regional fairness is broader than one ambition and is rooted in providing opportunity for people across this island.

“We cannot afford to sustain a model which creates a resource vortex in Belfast, drawing in and trapping investment and talent to the detriment of all other communities.

“Opportunity does not begin and end on this island’s eastern corridor.”

He said the dangers of focusing investment in small geographic areas were clear from the rent crisis in Dublin where young workers and students were suffering most.

He added: “Instead of fuelling this model, we should be seeking to create sectoral geographic counterpoints to balance the system.

“The SDLP will pursue a policy of regional economic fairness because it is right politically and because it is smart economically.”