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New Opportunities for the North West in 2008

8 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Equality Spokesperson, Martina Anderson MLA says that a number of opportunities exist to address enterprise, infrastructure and economic issues in the North West through the next round of Interreg IV funding from Europe.

Speaking following submission of the North West bid to Europe Ms Anderson said that this was an opportunity to address some of the deficits all too familiar to us and the reasons why investment and regeneration is lagging in the region.

Ms Anderson said:

"This new round of funding known as Intereg IV / Territorial Cooperation is slightly different in nature in that whilst it is cross border it also includes parts of Scotland. It is therefore crucial that that the region asserts a strong united case

"The North West region was previously made up of Derry, Donegal, Limivady and Strabane but with the inclusion of Magherfelt we are now dealing with population base of around 360,000 people and it is also important to note that the draft operational plan coming from Europe made specific reference to the North West of Ireland.

"Programmes are now available on four themes, Economy. Enterprise, Collaboration and Tourism and these bids have now been submitted to Europe. It is important that we all now lobby for funding to be directed to the region, we cannot afford to lose.

"If we are truly serious about tackling regional disparities the drastic figure of 10,471 redundancies from 1998 to 2002 in the North West must be dramatically overturned and resources must be skewed towards these region and those most disadvantaged." ENDS

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