Teamwork is ensuring that millions of pounds in investment to spruce up Derry is being spent in all the right places, says city centre manager Jim Roddy.
The City Centre Initiative boss has insisted that the city is looking its best in many years “only because of everyone working together” to ensure work is carried out strategically.
All stakeholder including are included in the partnership approach including Derry City Council, the Planning Service, Road Service, the various government departments, the Walled City Partnership, Chamber of Commerce, private enterprise, city centre traders, the City Centre Initiative and others.
Mr Roddy explained: “The city centre has become a much prettier place in the last number of years and it’s all down to the all the stakeholders in the city working together. It’s worked so well because of collective decision making on what is best for the city centre. As a result of the approach works carried out have been complimentary. We’ve been working on clusters of buildings at a time so one job compliments the other to transform entire streets.”
The setting up by Derry City Council of the City of Culture 2013 Infrastructure Group was one development which has been very beneficial, Mr Roddy explained. “We meet once a month give updates on each scheme. But we don’t leave it at that we all work together on a day to day basis. No one is working silos anymore. “We’ve come together and looked at what needs done and taken collective decisions.”
Millions of pounds have been invested across a variety of grant aided schemes to transform the look of the city centre. From large-scale schemes to completely refurnish major buildings such as a the Northern Counties Hotel building, to smaller grant aided projects to revamp shop fronts with a lick of paint or vegetation removal, much work has already been carried out.
There’s much more to work in the pipeline for coming weeks and months.
Mr Roddy added: “Things are happening in Derry, there is a buzz because there’s been a sea change in the way things are done and the progress is there for all to see.
“The joined up approach really is the secret and that has not always been the case in the city. “