12,500 new jobs for Derry 'by 2020'
Londonderry could have 12,500 new jobs by 2020, putting almost £500,000 additional wages and profits into the local economy.
This was one forecast for the city contained in the Ilex regeneration plan, 'One City, One Plan, One Voice’, which was launched for consultation yesterday.
The plan also suggests that Derry will become a city with many bridges with the creation of a third road bridge and a new footbridge between Prehen and the Brandywell in addition to the Peace Bridge which is set to be completed by May next year..
The expansion of the Magee campus of the University of Ulster with an increase of places at from the current 3,800 to 9,400 is also contained in the plan.
The publication drew to a conclusion a decade of work by the Ilex team who will now deliver an abbreviated version of the 155-page plan to every home in the Derry City Council area .
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph at the launch the chairman of Ilex, Sir Roy McNulty, said he had every confidence the contents of the plan could be achieved and that the predictions were based on solid foundations.
He explained: “It is a big challenge but we have done a lot of work and a lot of it will depend on the success of the tourism section of the plan and making the most of the city in the lead up to the City of Culture.
“Since the City of Culture bid we have seen an increase in private sector interested in definitely building and providing facilities that visitors to this city will want and if we can get that whole momentum going we will deliver on the 12,500 jobs by 2020.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness attended the launch along with the Minister for Social Development, Alex Attwood.
Mr McGuiness described the launch as a milestone for the city, adding: “There is no doubt the city is entering a new and exciting phase in the lead up to 2013 and we achieved success in the bid because we were united and that is an important lesson for all of us.”
Social Development Minister Alex Attwood said that it would be essential that those in need and disadvantaged would be at the heart of the regeneration of the city.
MP for Foyle, Mark Durkan, also attended the launch. He said: “ This plan removes the clutter of ideas and targets that have been there from the past and embodies them in one comprehensive plan.”