Durkan calls for Derry ‘City Deal’
Mr Durkan has also said there is no reason why there should only be one Enterprise Zone in the North (in Coleraine) – and is calling for a cross-border zone which would help to optimise the Project Kelvin potential across the Derry-Donegal border.
He said: “People are understandably questioning how the Enterprise Zone decision was taken not least as the British government are relating it to their ‘Economic Pact’ with the Executive.
“I have consistently advocated this region pursuing the option of ‘Enterprise Zones’ after George Osborne re-introduced versions of them in earlier budget statements. Indeed in one such statement he regretted that he still had no proposal from the Executive. When the Executive and DETI were asked, the point was claimed that it would be hard to get agreement on a site or sites and that the primary focus was on Corporation Tax.
“As well as arguing for Enterprise Zones here I specifically suggested a cross-border zone which would help to optimise the Project Kelvin potential across the Derry-Donegal border. There is no reason why there should only be one zone. I note the Budget announcement refers to a pilot. But why only one and why only a pilot here when more zones are up and running across the water?
“As well as Enterprise Zones in Britain, I am conscious of the value of ‘City Deals’ which are devolving different combination of assets, capacity, intervention powers and investments (and not just to major cities).
“With some of the questions about implementation and delivery of the ‘One Plan’, I would ask why Derry should not seek a pilot City Deal from the Executive backed where relevant by the Treasury.”