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Anderson welcomes Ilex commitment to local labour in contracts

18 September, 2008

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has welcomed commitments from Ilex Chief Executive Bill Kirk to ensure that disadvantaged communities benefit from Derry's regeneration.

Mr. Kirk was speaking at Wednesday's launch of the 'Achieving Derry - Bright Futures' initiative which aims to break the link between educational underachievement and social deprivation.

Ms. Anderson said: "I have had a number of engagements with the Ilex Chief Executive and the Ilex Chair Roy McNulty over recent months.

"In all of those meetings, I have constantly reaffirmed the need for the regeneration of the Ilex sites to incorporate social objectives to ensure that it benefits those who need it most.

"In his presentation on Wednesday, Bill Kirk confirmed that a number of key Ilex contracts - including the £13 million footbridge - will be going out to contract next year.

"He also confirmed that Ilex will be implementing labour plans in all of their contracts which will mean that long-term unemployed people from this city will be given jobs and training on these projects.

"That is a welcome commitment as is Ilex's recognition that the regeneration of Derry must deliver for the most disadvantaged communities here.

"As part of that process, Sinn Féin will continue to press for outreach initiatives to provide skills and training within disadvantaged communities to enable people living there to access the jobs which will eventually be created at Fort George and Ebrington.

"Implementing measures such as these will ensure that Ilex does not go the same way as other regeneration projects which created fine buildings and jobs for commuters but absolutely nothing for the local communities.

"I believe that Ilex are also determined to ensure that it delivers for the people of Derry and I look forward to building on those commitments in the time ahead."

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