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McLaughlin calls for designation as area of 'Exceptional need' for NorthWest

15 April, 2005

Sinn Fein Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA has called on Direct Rule Minister, Ian Pearson to designate the NorthWest Region as an area of 'Exceptional need'.

Mr. Mc Laughlin said:

"When we look at the different economic news for areas that a geographically so close it is clear that in the north we are being badly let down. Contrast the recent announcement further job losses at the Marks and Spencer's (Desmonds) distribution centre in Claudy with the simultaneous announcement by IDA Ireland of over 100 Research and Development jobs in SITA Letterkenny and an additional 300 jobs in Toucan's new Software Centre in Sligo.

"While Invest NI fiddles IDA delivers. These jobs are to be copper-fastened by a further €2.5million investment within the Letterkenny Institute of Technology's Business Development Centre by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

"At a time in which INI has apparently abandoned Derry to its own devices with the loss of over 5,000 jobs in this region in recent years these IDA successes put paid to INI's hollow claims that it is impossible to attract Direct Foreign Investment to a peripheral region such as the 6 counties. INI appear either unable or unwilling to learn from their near neighbours ability to continuously deliver jobs 20 miles down the road from Derry and IDA recognition of the necessity to complement such inward investment by providing the new knowledge based infrastructure that such investment requires.

"The NorthWest Region should be declared an area of 'exceptional need' with the required investment in infrastructure to attract inward investment."ENDS

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