First Minister Peter Robinson highlighted the North West as a particular area of concern as he announced 70 new ideas to rejuvenate the province’s economy.
The recommendations were put forward by the Cross Sector Advisory Forum — an economic task force set up to help map a path through the recession — and will now be brought to the Executive for consideration by Mr Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. The Ministers said the proposals covered issues such as planning, availability of bank finance, benefit uptake, promoting renewable energy, illegal money lending and small business access to procurement.
“I think there is a particular importance in the government working hard, now that we are starting to come out of the recession, and to be ensuring that we are most active in getting in investment,” said Mr Robinson.
“That is particularly true in the North West of the province. The levels of deprivation are so much higher because of unemployment, simply because the further you get away from the city centre of Belfast the more difficult it becomes. There is a responsibility on us to try to take investment to where it is most needed in our province.”