Strategic priorities to drive growth and prosperity in the North West City Region were top of the agenda at today’s meeting of senior officials from Government Departments in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The North West Strategic Growth Partnership which is jointly led by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council met today in the Co-Lab in Letterkenny with key strategic issues pertaining to the North West City region topping the agenda.
The Irish National Development Plan and its potential for the region was outlined by representatives from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform while details on Foyle Port as a key anchor of regional growth were presented.
Ongoing collaborative strategic work by Higher and Further Education Institutions in the North West including Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University, Donegal ETB and the North West Regional College was outlined and a round table discussion focusing on jobs, education and infrastructure in the context of priorities for mitigating brexit in the North West City Region also took place.
In a joint presentation to the meeting, Chief Executives of both Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council, Seamus Neely and John Kelpie, presented an update and overview on progress made in terms of the regions growth priorities and referred specifically to the designation of Letterkenny as a regional centre for growth and the recognition of the Letterkenny, Derry and Strabane City Region in the Irish Government’s National Planning Framework. Both chief executives referred to the significance of this in terms of demonstrating the government’s clear commitment to aligning its policies, plans and priorities with those of both Councils and the North West Region.
Speaking following the meeting Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill welcomed the ongoing commitment and momentum from the senior government officials on this joined up collaborative approach saying “we have a long history of crossborder connections and collaboration in this region and having this joined up strategic focus at central government level, working hand in hand with key local stakeholders focusing on how best to resource our priorities, is vital if we are to realise the potential that exists for this entire region.”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr John Boyle believes that these new regional working arrangements are proving beneficial for the North West City Region saying “we are working to secure the long term future economic wellbeing of this region and I believe that we are well equipped and we have the necessary working arrangements in place to allow us to respond in a favourable way to future opportunities.”
Senior Government Officials from Ireland and Northern Ireland attending the North West Strategic Growth Partnership meeting in Letterkenny today. Picture includes Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr. John Boyle, Chair and Vice Chair of the North West Regional Development Group Cllr Bernard McGuinness and Cllr. Gus Hastings, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council Seamus Neely and Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Kelpie.