Derry: A walled city with all the gates open

Derry's walls are famous. Today they are a visitor attraction that symbolize a welcoming city that is very much open for business. photo.


By Martina Anderson MLA

Derry is a city on the rise. A city of opportunity. An historic city, emerging for conflict confident, and forward looking. It is a hidden gem of Ireland.

Okay, I might be biased, but that does not change this truth. It remains the town I love so well.

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I and my Sinn Féin colleagues have been working tirelessly, with much success, to encourage more international investment into Derry by companies.

This has seen the arrival of American software and cyber security companies like Kofax and OneSource Virtual, and an expansion by Seagate of their Derry plant.

In addition, we have established strong international partnerships with the cities of Boston and Philadelphia, which are managed through our local government, the Derry & Strabane District Council.

Derry is exceptionally well placed as an investment hub for companies seeking to establish a gateway to the British and EU Markets.

It is the bridge between the U.S., Ireland, Britain and the EU. The island’s only cross border city is the perfect location for any business with its sights set on growth and access to new markets.

Its strategic setting offers a strong platform for investors seeking to establish firm foundations for future ventures.

Central to Derry’s renaissance will be the development of the former British army base known as Ebrington. This is, in every sense, an opportunity to shape swords into plowshares.

On site, a range of developments have progressed within the listed buildings and large open spaces within the site to create events spaces, office accommodation for local companies, a brewery, restaurants and the construction of the iconic Peace Bridge to symbolize the transformation of the site into a shared space for all of our citizens.

In the near future a new hotel and a major new museum, which will focus on Derry's major links to North American emigration, will also be developed.

The other key element of the site's transformation will be the construction of substantial Grade A office space perfectly suited to larger companies employing up to 400 staff.

This space will be ideal for those North American companies involved in sectors such as software development, financial services, e-commerce and cyber security and who are seeking to establish themselves in a city with extremely competitive rental and running costs, and a well skilled and motivated workforce.

Through Project Kelvin and our link into the Hibernia Transatlantic cable, data hungry companies will also find the same quality telecommunications services on offer as in major cities like London, Amsterdam and New York.

We have a highly skilled and available labor force. Affordable quality housing, schools and public services,

This connectivity is not just confined to the Ebrington site, but also applies to existing grade A office space within the city.

This is why we need our allies in the American business community to look to investing in the North's best kept secret.

If you would like to know more about the investment opportunities in Historic Derry please get in touch so I can help open the door.

Martina Anderson is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Foyle and can be contacted at