SDLP Foyleside candidate Rory Farrell says delays to the Fort George decontamination are ‘hampering Derry’s economic development.’
Mr Farrell said the development of Fort George can underpin Londonderry’s economic recovery but has not been given the priority it deserves.
“Regeneration at Fort George can be the answer to Derry’s economic woes. It has the potential to be a landmark site that can attract thousands of jobs to this region but development cannot begin as the minister has not given the decontamination process the priority it deserves,” he said.
Decontamination at the old Army base was originally due for completion in 2012 but the Minister for Social Development Nelson McCausland recently stated that it was unlikely to be completed before the end of 2015.
“Nelson McCausland has questions to answer, most notably how can a project that was due for completion in 2012 be delayed to such an extent that he cannot even commit to having the work completed in 2015.
“The lack of progress is an insult to the people of this city. We are crying out for jobs, investment and opportunity but the minister’s inaction is prolonging the unemployment crisis in Derry.
“I would urge the minister to refocus his attention on the Fort George site. A solution must be found that will allow decontamination works to be completed as quickly as possible so the people of Derry can begin to reap the economic rewards that Fort George offers.”
The North West Regional Science Park on the site is due to be completed by July.