Call for government investment into the greater Newry area

June 30, 2009

Minister Conor Murphy MP MLA, local MLAs and Councillors joined more than eighty representatives from the local public, private, voluntary and community sectors at a meeting of the Greater Newry Vision Partnership on Friday, held on the 26th June 2009 in Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency, WIN Business Park.  

President Mary Doran, Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade, chaired the event in the Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency, WIN Business Park.  She pointed out that the Partnership was launched in 2006, and while notable success has been achieved to date, “the world we live in today has changed dramatically, presenting this region with new challenges and new opportunities.”

“This meeting was convened to update all the key local stakeholders on the findings that have emerged from in-depth discussions held recently by our Working Groups, which focused debate on key themes, pivotal to the social and economic development of the Greater Newry Area; including; Enterprise, Employment & Education, Community Development, Health & Public Services, Leisure & Tourism, Sustainable Energy, Infrastructure and Development,” Ms Doran said.

At the meeting, the Working Groups’ facilitators delivered compelling presentations on the complexity of challenges ahead with RPA, the amalgamation of the Councils, the threats posed by the recession, out of town developments and congestion.  They also provided an insight into the vast number of opportunities for social and economic development that exist within the Greater Newry Area.  However, the continued lack of government investment into the region was highlighted as a major issue.

President Mary Doran stated, “It is all too evident when you visit other regions in Northern Ireland the amount of financial resources that are continuously being pumped in by Central Government.  There are huge disparities on Government spending between Council districts and Newry & Mourne’s continues to be at the wrong end of the scale.

“The development of the Greater Newry Area is largely attributable to the efforts of the local private sector and vibrant voluntary and community sector.  However, without appropriate 21st century infrastructure and support services, we cannot take the Greater Newry Area to the next level and maximise its full potential.

“We call upon Central Government to invest in this region; they will not get a better return for their investment anywhere else in Northern Ireland.  We call upon the Department for Social Development to create a Master Plan for Newry City so that we can focus resources and efforts into an agreed plan for the future development of our City.”