Derry snubbed as Department for Economy and Invest NI fail to attend meeting

Thu, 10/09/2020 - 11:28 -- Editor

Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds snubbed Derry City and Strabane District Council’s invitation to meet in the city this week to hear concerns about the lack of job creation in the North-West.

Minister Diane Dodds had been requested that a Department official, preferably herself, attend the meeting. She declined to attend personally, but said she had instructed one of her departmental officials and also a senior executive from Invest NI to attend.

In the event, neither of these officials turned up.

Chairperson of Council’s Business and Culture Committee, Councillor Rory Farrell indicated that the root of this lack of investment is the current policy of Invest NI, which is laid down by the Department of the Economy which gives Invest NI its funding.

Councillor Farrell said: “Invest NI currently looks at Northern Ireland as one entity. This means that if there is a target of 40,000 jobs over 4-5 years, all those jobs could go to Belfast and they would have reached their target.

“We have strongly suggested that Invest NI should have regional targets so that there would be a separate target for the North-West.”