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Deputy First Minister outlines Executive’s commitment to Derry

15 February, 2008


Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP, MLA has said that the Executive's commitment to make the economy their top priority was nowhere more relevant than in the North West.

The minister was speaking in Derry today when he was addressing a meeting of the local Chamber of Commerce.

He told Chamber members that:

"All our towns and cities are important but the North West is a special target area. We must therefore be innovative and thoughtful making sure that we get our vision right for the regeneration of the North West as a whole and Derry in particular."

Mr McGuinness also outlined progress on major infrastructure projects as well as praising the work of Ilex Regeneration Company and cited work on the redevelopment of Ebrington Barracks and Fort George army base as integral to the regeneration of the city.

He said that these sites presented a wonderful opportunity with the development of Ebrington providing one million square feet of mixed use space and the prospect of 1,500 jobs for the city whilst the soon to be unveiled Master Plan for Fort George had the potential to create up to 4,500 jobs resulting in £100million of gross income per annum.

Referring to the plans for a road and cycle bridge between Ebrington and the Guildhall he described this as a symbol of a renewed sense of pride in the city.

"I look forward to being one of the thousands at the opening of the bridge and believe that it will act as a new icon for the city sending a message to citizens and investors alike.

"Most important of all it will bridge the emotional and cultural divide that has existed for so long," he added.

The Minister also outlined progress on the North West Gateway Initiative.

"The North West Gateway Initiative was established to provide a focus for greater synergy and more effective, practical cooperation and coordination of public expenditure in this area. We hope to announce the Executive's plans for the future of this important initiative in coming weeks," he said. ENDS

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