It’s hard to believe that two weeks have now passed since a long-awaited deal was done to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland. Since then, the Assembly has been busy getting back into the swing of things, with the appointment of a new Executive team, the re-establishment of the Assembly committees and a full Assembly business diary already underway.

Just this week, one of our Executive Ministers visited the North West on one of his first engagements. Minister for the Economy Conor Murphy MLA spent Wednesday engaging with businesses across the North West, including the Chamber and its members.

Following a productive meeting with Chamber board members, the Minister said:

““Regional balance will be a key element of my economic strategy. Derry has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and huge ambitions for the future. The North West has huge growth potential and I intend to see that potential realised.”

Economy Minister Conor Murphy with, from left, Andrew Fleming, Vice-President, Greg McCann, President, and Anna Doherty, CEO, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. Credit Lorcan Doherty

Conor Murphy was not the only high-profile visitor to the city this week. The Chamber team also had the pleasure of hosting Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Hilary Benn MP, and Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland Fleur Anderson MP on Tuesday.

Over a working lunch where we stressed the importance of addressing regional imbalance and just how many opportunities are presented by the North West, we showed our guests the famous Derry Walls with a tour from Derrie Danders. Following this, Mr Benn visited Catalyst and Alchemy Technology, where he was able to see some of the best up and coming businesses in the area.

As well as the Economy Minister’s stated commitment to rebalancing our economy, we are also encouraged to see strong North West representation on the Assembly Economy Committee with Foyle MLAs Gary Middleton, Sinead McLaughlin and Pádraig Delargy now on board.

Aidan O’Kane, Andrew Fleming, Fleur Anderson MP, Hilary Benn MP, Anna Doherty, Greg McCann, Selina Horshi. Photo Credit: Stephan Latimer

It’s excellent to see the North West so high on the list of priorities for our elected representatives, and it just shows how much potential there is for investment, growth and job creation in this place. The engagement and understanding of the issues facing the area by both of our guests this week has been very encouraging, and we look forward to working closely alongside both in the future.

And now more than ever your opinion matters, have your say in our member survey. The more information we can gather about your businesses’ challenges and opportunities the better we can articulate the needs and ambition of our region to Government.

It will only take a few minutes to give us your feedback. 

Click on the link HERE to complete the survey.