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Foreign & Commonwealth Office hears about Derry’s growth plans

27 February 2019

A high-level delegation of senior UK diplomats visited Derry-Londonderry as part of a two day visit to Northern Ireland on the 25 and 26 February to gain a wider understanding of the political structures, strengths, and unique offer of Northern Ireland.

The visit was an opportunity to engage local interests and discuss how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with other partners, is delivering support internationally for all parts of the UK, including Northern Ireland. 

The senior diplomats will be taking up appointments as Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Consul General, promoting trade and investment, strengthening UK security, fostering cultural relations, and protecting UK citizen through visa and consular services. The visit was hosted by the Executive Office and included an engagement in Belfast with David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

During their visit, the group met with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr John Boyle and senior officers of Council where they were given an overview of the Council’s Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan and the work the Council is doing to secure national growth in the city region.

The Mayor Cllr Boyle said the meeting was very positive in identifying opportunities the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can help to represent the city and district’s interests abroad and to assist in helping the city region achieve its ambition. He said it was an excellent opportunity for the Council and its stakeholders to engage directly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss common interests in terms of business, trade and investment and education opportunities.

The delegation also meet with representatives from Invest NI before they travelled to Seagate Technology and the Ulster University where they had an insight into their successful investment in the North West and commitment to investing in innovation to grow the regional economy.

The delegation participated in a walking tour of the Historic City Walls before sampling a range of the finest local food and drink produce a Food and drink tasting event at the Bishop’s Gate Hotel that was hosted by Invest NI.

The delegation also attended an evening reception hosted by the Mayor.

Speaking after the visit the Mayor extended his thanks to the delegation saying it was hugely significant in forging links with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in sharing information that will help the region with its current business and education challenges.

He commented: “This visit by the UK senior diplomats  was a very important visit for the city and wider region. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our city and the really positive work we are doing through our Strategic Growth Plan to attract investment, invest in research and education and improve our health and wellbeing.

“We were able to show the benefits of strategic partnership working between Council, the Ulster University and Seagate and welcome the commitment of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in representing the interests of Northern Ireland Internationally.”