Gregory Campbell - need for Freeport & further investment in North West

Welcoming the potential development of Freeports across the UK, Gregory Campbell MP recently wrote to the Minister responsible for Freeports along with representatives of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Londonderry Harbour, Londonderry Airport and the former MOD lands at Ballykelly on proposals for the North West.

By Gregory Campbell MP

East Londonderry

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Mr Campbell said,

"I have written to the key stakeholders in the North West and to the Minister regarding the issue of Freeports here in Northern Ireland and the need for the region to be included. We also had the Prime Minister indicate his desire to see a 'levelling up' across the Country. I and my colleagues agree with this although we would like to see more tangible evidence of this in the outworkings of Government suggestions and proposals.

Northern Ireland has been heavily dependent on public sector employment for decades, the North West of NI even more so. This has contributed to the lack of inward investment over many years. The North West (Londonderry/Limavady/Coleraine) is also amongst the most disadvantaged regions not just in NI but across the UK. This proposal would help address these issues in a very fundamental way.

I have highlighted that the Foyle Port, Londonderry Airport, the huge but underutilised land bank at Ballykelly and the Enterprise Zone in Coleraine, if included in this initiative from the UK Government, could be a unique public and private sector partnership proposal capable of delivering thousands of jobs in a range of sectors. This could be one of the most transformational propositions for decades if supported properly.

I am pleased that I have received positive feedback and support regarding the proposal and will continue to lobby to bring the Freeport initiative to the North West as well as the levelling up funding that is required."

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