A high-level delegation of senior UK diplomats visited Londonderry in Feb as part of a two day visit to gain a wider understanding of the political structures, strengths, and unique offer of Northern Ireland. The visit was an opportunity to engage local interests and discuss how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with other partners, is delivering support internationally for all parts of the UK, including Northern Ireland. During their visit, the group met with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Councillor John Boyle and senior officers of council where they were given an overview of the council’s Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan and the work the council is doing to secure national growth in the city region. Mayor John Boyle said the meeting was very positive in identifying opportunities the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can help to represent the city and district’s interests abroad and to assist in helping the city region achieve its ambition.

Visting Heads of Mission Discuss Derry City and Strabane Growth Plans

He said it was an excellent opportunity for the council and its stakeholders to engage directly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss common interests in terms of business, trade and investment and education opportunities. The delegation also met with representatives from Invest NI before they travelled to Seagate Technology and the Ulster University. The delegation participated in a walking tour of the Historic City Walls before sampling a range of the finest local food and drink produce a food and drink tasting event at the Bishop’s Gate Hotel that was hosted by Invest NI, before an evening reception hosted by the Mayor. Speaking after the visit the Mayor extended his thanks to the delegation saying it was hugely significant in forging links with the FCO and in sharing information that will help the region with its current business and education challenges.

He said: “This visit by the UK senior diplomats was a very important visit for the city and wider region. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our city and the really positive work we are doing through our Strategic Growth Plan to attract investment, invest in research and education and improve our health and wellbeing. We were able to show the benefits of strategic partnership working between council, the Ulster University and Seagate and welcome the commitment of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in representing the interests of Northern Ireland Internationally.”

Sports people in Strabane can now access state of the art play provision on their doorstep after Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, officially opened the new multi-sport 3G facility at the Melvin Sports Complex.

The £1.2 million project will cater for primarily football, rugby and GAA and is an addition to the wide range of facilities at the centre that includes a sports hall, studios, conference rooms, cryospa, soft play, play park, tennis court, and running track.

The pitch is named after the late Felix McCrossan, the former soccer referee and linesman in the Irish League who had a pivotal role in the growth of the Tyrone Milk Cup tournament.

Funders, stakeholders, elected representatives and Council officers attended December’s opening event where local schoolchildren took part in a Melvin Multi Sport Festival on the pitches that was delivered by Council’s team of sports coaches.
Speaking at the opening, Mayor Boyle expressed his delight that local people could now access state of the art playing facilities on their doorstep.
“I am delighted that sports people of all levels can now access this high spec and state of the art facility that can significantly contribute to our aim of increasing participation numbers in sport and physical activity across the Council area,” he said.
“The Felix McCrossan Pitch provides much needed playing provision for the area and can act as a hub for the community, encouraging more active lifestyles choices and creating a space for groups and teams to come together and socialise through sport.
“The project was completed at a cost of £1.2m which was made up of £590,220 from the Department for Communities Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund and £623,000 from Council.”
Director of Health and Communities at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Karen McFarland, said the project was the latest upgrade to the overall offering at the Melvin Sports Complex.
“The completion of the 3G facility is a welcome addition to the facilities at the Melvin centre,” she said.
“The investment compliments the £2.2 million refurbishment at the Complex in 2014 and the £60,000 upgrade to the Arena Grass Pitch and changing facilities.
“The pitch can host soccer, gaa and rugby games meaning it will be an excellent resource for all the local field sports clubs to access in all weather conditions.”
For further information on prices, activity programmes / timetables or general enquiries contact the Melvin Sports Complex on 028 71 382660, e mail melvin@derrystrabane.com or visit www.derrystrabane.com/melvin-sports-complex.

 

Ends

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The Lord Mayor of the City of London extended an invitation to a number of schools in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area to travel to London in November to take part in his Business of Trust Celebration event at the Mansion House. The invitation comes following the visit in September to the city by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman and senior representatives from the City of London Corporation and the Honourable the Irish Society to attend a high level Londonderry City Region Economic Summit.

Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman

During his visit to the City, Lord Mayor Bowman met with pupils from a number of schools to discuss the Business of Trust and ask for their recommendations for what businesses can do to increase their trustworthiness and help restore the public’s trust and confidence in the financial and professional services sector, and has since extended an invitation to nine pupils from Foyle College, St Mary’s College and St. Cecilia’s College, their teachers and a representative from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business team to attend his prestigious Business of Trust celebration event. The schools’ participation in the event is being facilitated by the Merchant Taylors Guild and the Honourable Irish Society. Edward Montgomery from the Honourable Irish Society has welcomed the inclusion of young people from the Council area in the event saying: “The Lord Mayor of the City of London was very impressed with the young people he met when he visited the city last month and was very keen to get them involved. He said: “The Honourable Irish Society is delighted that the City of London Corporation has recognised our young people in this way and invited them to be part of this important Mayoral initiative. We are very supportive of our Council and our schools and businesses working in close collaboration with the City of London. We can learn a lot from each other and both benefit greatly from close collaborative working and linkages.” As part of the trip the schools will take a tour of the London Guildhall and get a presentation on the City of London Corporation. They will also get a tour of the BT hub, BT Tower and meet recent graduates and apprentices who have joined BT.

Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 airline, today launched its new City of Derry Airport route to Edinburgh in October by launching a £9.99 winter sale.

The new route to Edinburgh commenced in October, with a five-time weekly service, as part of Ryanair’s winter 2018 schedule, which also includes a route to Liverpool.

For further Information  https://corporate.ryanair.com/news/ryanair-celebrates-new-city-of-derry-airport-route-to-edinburgh-with-9-99-sale/

The Lord Mayor of the City of London extended an invitation to a number of schools in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area to travel to London in November to take part in his Business of Trust Celebration event at the Mansion House. The invitation comes following the visit in September to the city by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman and senior representatives from the City of London Corporation and the Honourable the Irish Society to attend a high level Londonderry City Region Economic Summit.

Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman

During his visit to the City, Lord Mayor Bowman met with pupils from a number of schools to discuss the Business of Trust and ask for their recommendations for what businesses can do to increase their trustworthiness and help restore the public’s trust and confidence in the financial and professional services sector, and has since extended an invitation to nine pupils from Foyle College, St Mary’s College and St. Cecilia’s College, their teachers and a representative from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business team to attend his prestigious Business of Trust celebration event. The schools’ participation in the event is being facilitated by the Merchant Taylors Guild and the Honourable Irish Society. Edward Montgomery from the Honourable Irish Society has welcomed the inclusion of young people from the Council area in the event saying: “The Lord Mayor of the City of London was very impressed with the young people he met when he visited the city last month and was very keen to get them involved. He said: “The Honourable Irish Society is delighted that the City of London Corporation has recognised our young people in this way and invited them to be part of this important Mayoral initiative. We are very supportive of our Council and our schools and businesses working in close collaboration with the City of London. We can learn a lot from each other and both benefit greatly from close collaborative working and linkages.” As part of the trip the schools will take a tour of the London Guildhall and get a presentation on the City of London Corporation. They will also get a tour of the BT hub, BT Tower and meet recent graduates and apprentices who have joined BT.

For further Information  https://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/london-mayor-business-of-trust-invite-for-local-schools-1-8696111

On September 10th Derry City and Strabane District Council hosted a high level Derry~Londonderry City Region Economic Summit focusing on the work being done to develop business, education and investment links between Derry and London.

The Derry~Londonderry City Region Economic Summit hosted by the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle, and attended by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Charles Bowman along with senior representatives from the City of London Corporation and The Honourable Irish Society.

The Summit took place at a number of venues across the city and involved stakeholders from the business, education, investment and industry sectors discussing the positive collaborative work being done with the City of London to promote Derry~Londonderry as a great place to do business.

Organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Derry~Londonderry City Region Economic Summit had been organised following a series of engagements and visits between the two cities over the past number of months.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr John Boyle said purpose of the Economic Summit is to deliver the key objectives set out in the Strategic Growth Plan and the opportunities that exist to build and deepen regional engagement between the City of London and Derry City and Strabane District Council.

He said: “Just last month I welcomed senior representatives from the City of London and The Honourable Irish Society where they received an update on the city’s bid for a City Deal and the work being done by the Council and its partners to further develop the existing strong links between Derry and the City London.

“This high level Economic Summit will look at the benefits of doing business in the North West and the opportunities that exist in the City of London for businesses in the North West. The event will highlight the City Region’s key strength’s focussing on the work that is being done through our Education and Skills Delivery Partnership. A key element of the Summit will be the focus on existing industry and the important role they play to the economic growth and productivity to the Northern Ireland and wider UK economy and how we can look at new ways of collaborating and working creatively with the City of London,” he said,

Mayor Boyle added that the common synergy and connectivity between Derry~Londonderry and the City of London is huge significant.

“The City of London is a global leader in areas such as the Financial Services sector. My hope is that recent investments such as that being made by Fintru and the creation of 305 new jobs is a shining example of the opportunities that exist in developing a sustainable relationship with the City of London.

We have a shared history and heritage that can be leveraged into something stronger. Our strong economic history dates back over 400 years to the Plantation of Ulster and in recent years the two cities have worked closely to promote our connectivity and linkages. We intend to build on this so we can improve our economic relationship by working closely with businesses, investors and education providers for the mutual benefit of both cities.”

For further Information http://www.derrystrabane.com/Council/News/High-level-City-Region-Economic-Summit-to-forge-li

A high-level inward investment team from the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia visited Derry, Strabane and Inishowen in October as part of a visit to Northern Ireland.

During their visit to the North West the group met with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Boyle, and visited a number of local businesses, including E&I Engineering in Burnfoot.

They also spent some time at the North West Regional College and the Ulster University Magee campuses to see at first hand the region’s entrepreneurship and innovation and skilled workforce.

The delegation also attended a business engagement lunch with the Chamber of Commerce and met with international investors and local business representatives who are interested in doing business in the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia areas, as well as local companies such as Fleming Agri and Marblehill, who already export to the US.

The visit was just weeks ahead of a forthcoming trade mission to Boston/Philadelphia, which will saw companies from Derry, Strabane and Donegal travelling to the US along with representatives from Derry City and Strabane District Council, Donegal County Council, the Local Enterprise Office, North West Regional College and LYIT.

Among the representatives who visited the city this week from the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia were Mr David Briel (Executive Director, Centre for Direct Investment, Pennsylvania); Mr Richard Kilner (Office of International Business Development, Center for Direct Investment, Pennsylvania); Mrs Sylvie Gallier Howard (First Deputy Commerce Director, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia) and Mr Vaughn Ross (Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Philadelphia).

Mayor Boyle said: “They were very impressed with our offering and how well placed we are in terms of offering cost competitive business opportunities along with high level digital connectivity and a young and well educated workforce.

“They were very keen to further explore the existing trade and export relationships that exist with companies from the North West region and Philadelphia, as well as the wider State of Pennsylvania. We are starting to see the benefits of this joined up and positive approach to establishing strong economic development links and initiatives between the US and the North West region. Our relationship is very strong and there is a real eagerness to develop our relationship further.”

For further Information  http://www.derrydaily.net/2018/10/23/mayor-welcomes-high-level-us-delegation-to-north-west/

North West Regional College (NWRC) has signed two Memorandums of Understanding in the United States, signalling its commitment to international co-operation with other education partners. Samantha Traynor, Vice Principal of North West Regional College has travelled to Philadelphia with the College’s European Projects Officer Bronagh Fikri, to sign a MoU with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Community College of Philadelphia.

Mrs Traynor was part of a high level trade and investment delegation to Boston and Philadelphia lead by Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Boyle, and Seamus O’Domhnaill, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. The visit was part of the ongoing positive work being done by the two Councils to establish strong economic development links and initiatives in the US and will build on the work done over the last number of years in promoting the North West region as an attractive investment proposition and on developing new market and network opportunities for businesses from Donegal, Derry and Strabane areas.

A number of companies from the North West are involved in the trip, as well as third level and further education providers and development organisations from across the North West including Ulster University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, North West Regional College and Udaras na Gaeltachta.

Speaking at the signing of the MoU Mrs Traynor said: “The signing of this MoU in an important event for our College, it’s a great day and one that sees us formalise our educational partnerships, that we have been building and consolidating over the last two years with the wider Penn State through the Department of Community and Economic Development and also with the Community College of Philadelphia.

“The MoU represents the first step in building and consolidating a partnership through education and training with a specific focus on sharing best practice in Work Based Learning to include Traineeships, Apprenticeships including Higher Level Apprenticeships and also the continued professional development of our respective professionals in our workforce.

“There is much to work on together and today marks the next step in building and consolidating that commitment for the benefit of all of our students in the NW City and region in our part of Ireland, in Philadelphia and in the wider state of Pennsylvania.”

For further Information  http://www.nwrc.ac.uk/2018/11/13/north-west-regional-college-signs-mou-in-united-states/

During trade missions to Philadelphia and Boston 12th – 16th  November potential American investors were told that the North West is perfectly placed for an ‘investment hub for business and global companies seeking to establish a gateway to both the UK and EU markets’.

A number of focused engagements with industry specialists, FDI executives and venture capitalists took place throughout the week in both Philadelphia and Boston as part of the Trade and Investment mission led jointly by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council, presenting the compelling investment proposition that the Northwest City Region has to offer.

Potential investors heard from leading global company DuPont, which has a longstanding commitment to the region, taking advantage of the unique combination of benefits that the Northwest region has to offer including an accessible, connected and business friendly gateway region with a compelling vision for greater international impact.

Investors learned that companies and businesses are attracted by a talented and educated workforce, the value balance, the superb quality of life and the supportive business environment.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Boyle believes that: “The strength of the region is underpinned by the strong collaborative approach which sees industry, government at both central and local level, and further and higher education institutions from both sides of the border working together to fuel further economic growth and prosperity. This is something that investor’s value greatly in terms of facilitating ease of access to supports in the region.”

Local businesses from a range of sectors across both Council areas also participated in the mission meeting with potential clients and business partners with a view to increasing sales and expanding their businesses.

Derry based Bridie Mullin Irish Linen Ltd. participated in the mission and brought her eponymous label of handcrafted quality Irish line to Boston in an effort to tap into the US market.

Bridie explains that the trade visit was an opportunity to build on her own research, and to visit stores and meet with potential clients gaining a deeper understanding of what exactly the customer is looking for. It also allowed her to get an insight into the potential costs associated with exporting and logistics assisting in finalising price points for trading.

The trade and investment mission also involved engagement with educational institutions with a memorandum of understanding being signed by the North West Regional College and Philadelphia Community College and the State of Pennsylvania during the mission that sees the consolidation of relationships developed over the last two years.

The week also saw the announcement by both Councils of an exciting research project with Harvard Graduate School of Design, exploring how the cross-border northwest city region can be shaped in light of the economic, political and social realities of Brexit. This project is being led by Assistant Professor Gareth Doherty in Harvard GSD, who is originally from Donegal.

Reaching out to the diaspora was also a key objective of the mission and this manifested in events in both Philadelphia and Boston, where members of the diaspora from across the region attended and shared with the delegation the opportunities and challenges faced by the diaspora and their commitment to continue to engage in a way that is meaningful and mutually beneficial.

The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council also had the honour of accepting on behalf of Donegal Hospice a cheque of $14,000 raised by the Donegal community in Philadelphia. Speaking after the trip, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely, said: “This Trade and Investment Mission is part of the ongoing positive work being done by both Councils. We are committed to continuing with the positive work we are doing to drive forward our economy and to maximise the opportunities we have as a cross border gateway to both the UK and EU markets.

“We have longstanding connections with Philadelphia and Massachusetts and these connections transcend economic, cultural and political linkages. The Golden Bridges conference has provided the Northwest region with an important platform in the Massachusetts region allowing us to reach out, connect with and form meaningful relationships and collaborations with stakeholders in various sectors that have been instrumental in progressing growth and prosperity in the region.”

Reflecting on the visit, Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council, John Kelpie, said: “It takes time to make connections, develop relationships and build trust. Our ongoing positive engagement with Massachusetts has to date resulted in a number of exciting developments including the investment and success stories around One Source Virtual and Metaverse. “Results such as these are part of our key objectives in terms of strengthening the profile of the City Region as outlined in our Strategic Growth Plan and are evidence that our direct approach of travelling to the US, making those connections and building rapport, really works.”