Derry’s urban regeneration company Ilex is to close in March 2016 with the loss of 18 jobs.
SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan said: “In the first instance we have to feel for the personnel involved who have worked against a difficult and complicated background to try to deliver or support development on a number of fronts.
“It should be remembered that Ilex were not the author of their own frustrations, because of the way it was structured and hampered – unlike Laganside in Belfast or some of the vehicles created under some of the City Deals in England.
“The underlying civic interest lies in how to optimise a site like Ebrington as well as Fort George free from some of the drag factors that have held things back.
“Given that Ilex’s role in the One Plan was to oversee the inconclusive preparation with unprecedented consultation – rather than its delivery which fell to departments – it should not be entirely scapegoated for the unfulfilled aspirations of that plan which we were told were endorsed in the 2011 Programme for Government.
“In these circumstances, I am not convinced that handing everything to government departments is the most reliable way forward and would again point to some of the models and practices in City Deals elsewhere which we could be adopting and adapting for Derry’s purposes.”