Sinn Féin group leader on Causeway Coast and Glens council Dermot Nicholl has submitted a motion to council on the lack of funding to the area by Invest NI.
Colr. Nicholl said “Recent findings about funding allocated by Invest NI has local councillors concerned. The study shows an alarming imbalance of the distribution of funding in the East versus the West with an apparent lack of intent to create jobs in the areas that desperately need them.”
According to the study published last week by Detail Data, £263m (81%) of Invest NI funding was allocated to the East compared to £60m for the West. The figures show that from 2011 to 2014 Invest NI gave Belfast (£128,159,245) more than 11 times more funding than Derry (£11,503,245) and nearly 100 times more than Limavady (£1,388,860).
The data also revealed that 71% of projects that received funding had no specific job creation targets. However, Invest NI said that job creation was only one condition potentially applied to funding, with others including research and development, skills development, or innovation which could also ultimately create jobs. Statistically, Derry has the highest level of unemployment in North with Limavady second.
We are looking for answers as to why investment is not being prioritised for creating jobs in areas that feature highly in the unemployment figures. Derry ranks 12th in terms of per capita spend (£105.39) and Limavady 23rd (£40.83) compared to 1st Belfast (£452.59) and 2nd NewtonAbbey (£295.73).
“I have submitted a motion to council due to be debated in the January meeting. The motion will call on the council to liase with Invest NI and goverment departments to address these issues.