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Taoiseach discusses North West regional priorities 22.02.21

AN Taoiseach Micheál Martin met members of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership and North West Regional Development Group on Thursday, February 18, to discuss regional growth priorities for the North West City Region.
The virtual meeting took place at the invitation of Councillors of the North West Regional Development Group, in the context of an ongoing collaborative approach by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council and their strategic partners in the region and in central government, to deliver economic growth and investment, environmental, social and community cohesion for the region, in conjunction with and supported by both the Irish Government and the Executive Office.
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin at virtual meeting of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership and North West Regional Development Group.
The meeting was attended by An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council and Co-Chair of the NWSGP, Cllr Rena Donaghey and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council and Co-Chair of the NWSGP, Cllr Brian Tierney; the Chair and Vice Chair of the North West Regional Development Group, Cllr Sandra Duffy (Derry City and Strabane District Council) and Cllr Ciaran Brogan (Donegal County Council), as well as the Chief Executives of Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council, John McLaughlin and John Kelpie, along with senior Government and Council officials.
The purpose of the virtual meeting was to directly discuss with the Irish Government a range of updated regional priorities for the region, which are based on a statement submitted by the region at the invitation of the North South Ministerial Council following its Plenary Meeting in December 2020. The statement of regional priorities provides a range of options for scaling up co-operation and development work between local and central government on both sides of the border. These priorities include the replenishment by both administrations of the North West Regional Development Fund and a range of other priorities which the region needs to release the full economic potential of the North West as a cross-border functional economic area.
An Cathaoirleach Cllr Donaghey welcomed the Taoiseach’s commitment to the North West City Region to date and acknowledged how the North West has continued to play an important part of the agenda for North South Co-operation since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the establishment of the North South Ministerial Council, and the subsequent establishment of the NW Strategic Growth Partnership and the NW Regional Development Group.
She said: “The meeting today allowed us to discuss in detail the range of opportunities that are available to Central and Local Governments, working through the mechanism of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership to take forward a shared approach to inclusive and sustainable growth, economic development and social wellbeing for the entire NW City region so it can realise its full potential.”
Members attending the meeting re-emphasised to the Taoiseach the key priorities for the region and the important role the Irish Government has to play in supporting the efforts to improve road, air, rail and sea connectivity of the region and in supporting sustainable ‘green’ growth. The need to enhance university and third level education provision and improve job and skills opportunities, as well as increased investment in tourism and innovation were emphasised. So also was a co-ordinated approach to improve the physical, mental health and well-being of those living in the region as a key component of a sustainable economy.
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