The money being invested in City of Derry Airport could be better spent on elderly care and youth provision in Derry, a local community activist has claimed.
Frankie McMenamin claimed that the airport had proved to be a “money pit” with the amount invested not being returned to the community.
Mr McMenamin was speaking in the wake of recent announcements over flight cancellations, and moves by the Northern Ireland Executive and UK government to invest millions of pounds to rescue the airport from the threat of closure. Derry & Strabane Council also provide annual subsidy of over £2m towards the Eglinton facility.
Mr McMenamin said: “The money could have been better used going to services that help older people and organisations that help young people, including young people in trouble.
“The airport just doesn’t seem to be bringing money into Derry. I just think as a former community worker that putting £7m into an airport, that is money that could be much better spent going into deprived communities in Derry.
“I have never used the airport in my life and I am sure a lot of other people are the same. They should be concentrating instead on creating new jobs and programmes for young people, because at least that gives them a chance to have a few pounds in their pockets.
“A lot of young people would be excited to get a couple of hundred pounds a week, or maybe let them come up with plans on how that money should be spent.
“The politicians should be asking them about what is needed and doing a proper survey. I see too many young people growing up with no work and not much of a future.”