Opportunity for Ebrington development to be taken to a new level in the future

Politicians locally have called for the ongoing development of the Ebrington site following the ministerial decision to wind down Ilex a year early.

UUP Alderman Mary Hamilton said that throughout the 10-year life of Ilex she felt strongly that the organisation was “working too much on its own”.

“I have always believed that Ilex should have been working more closely with the council,” she said.

“I’m not sure what to think of the organisation being taken over by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister and I hope the promise to maintain the work of Ilex will be honoured for all of the people in this city. From my own perspective I would like to see the remit of Ilex brought more closely into line with the council and to see all those involved in the development of public realm spaces working in a more joined up fashion for the good of all in the city,” she said.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA, Maeve McLaughlin said the situation was “an opportunity to drive forward the development of the Ebrington site with a refreshed focus”.

She said it was unfortunate for the 18 employees involved who were to lose their jobs, but it was vital that Ebrington was properly developed so that hundreds of highly paid new jobs could be delivered on the site, through the construction of the proposed new Grade A Office accommodation and other development.

“Despite the clear flaws in ILEX highlighted in the Review, momentum had been building more recently in relation to Ebrington and it is crucial that that momentum is maintained.”