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North West DUP representatives Gary Middleton and Gregory Campbell have welcomed funding jointly from the Department for Transport in London and the Department for the Economy locally to maintain the air route between Londonderry and London Stansted.

They said, "This is an important route for the north west, but it is significant for Northern Ireland as a whole. Connectivity is vital to the Northern Ireland economy, and our links with the rest of the United Kingdom. Maintaining a direct air link between London and Londonderry is of real importance in terms of attracting investment here.

This investment by the Department of Transport comes just a few weeks after heads of terms were signed for the transformational City Deal that will also see £105 million invested from the UK Government. These are tangible benefits of being part of the UK.

We see here the Economy Minister working pro-actively with the Department for Transport in London to deliver for Northern Ireland but the crucial area now is that the next two years must be used as a window of opportunity by the airport to develop new routes which make the airport itself a more viable proposition.

That will be the benchmark against which any short term grant announcement like this one, will be judged”