Belfast Telegraph

Political graft pays rich dividends for Derry

By Margaret Canning

Derry often feels neglected, and at times, when the media's focus is on Belfast and the supposedly bigger things going on there, our second city doesn't get the attention it deserves.

Of course, the City of Culture title went some way towards reversing years of amnesia about what it has to offer, especially the images of thousands of people packing out its streets for the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil.

And there are plenty of self-confident people, in business and otherwise, who are ready to publicise the city and all its attributes. Yesterday's announcement about 333 new jobs by EE – through US corporation Convergys – are a reminder that sometimes good news does reach the doorstep of Derry.

EE first announced a change in its approach to customer service in February, declaring that the customer service skills of UK call centres were of a higher standard than overseas.

And this is the start of its big 'onshoring' initiative – though it was no surprise that they chose the north west, as they'd been tipped to do so back in February.

In fact, the roots go further back to the Northern Ireland Investment Conference, when David Cameron sat down with EE and Convergys to sell the merits of Northern Ireland.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan said he pressed the attractiveness of Derry on EE at their brand launch in Parliament last year.

And MLA Maeve McLaughlin points out that the first and deputy first ministers did their bit on a recent US trade trip.

It's clear that all the hard work has paid off. Let's hope there's a long-term commitment from Convergys and EE.

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