COLERAINE IS FACING YEARS OF RECESSION

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COLERAINE is facing years of economic recession - according to a shock UK survey.

The place-by-index of local authorities in the UK and the rate at which they are expected to come back from recession will make bleak reading for residents of the borough.

The seven lowest-placed authorities in the index are all in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

And the picture is black and depressing for the Coleraine borough. Coleraine is ranked a lowly 406th out of 412 - with just six other towns or cities in the UK beneath us.

The lowest ranked is long-time unemployment blackspot, Strabane in Co Tyrone, followed by Londonderry. Ballymoney is ranked even worse off than Coleraine at 408th, while Limavady lies at 404th.

The study, commissioned by think-tank the Institute for Public Policy and Research, measured factors including employment, demand for labour, desirability, attractiveness and enterprise.

It predicts the South-East will recover as early as 2014. The North-West is expected to recover by 2016, with Yorkshire and the Humber area by 2018. However the West Midlands and North-East will see no recovery until 2020 at the very earliest.

The economic forecasting was carried out by Oxford Economics for the IPPR North Northern Economic Futures Commission.

The first 20 authorities are all in London or the Home Counties – whereas Northern Ireland has eight of the worst 21 areas for predicted recovery.

In essence the figures suggest that it could take Coleraine anything from six to ten years to come out of recession.

Responding to the survey, East Londonderry MP, Gregory Campbell (RIGHT) said investment in his constitutency was vital.

“These latest figures reinforce the need for more private investment in the Coleraine area. Invest NI must ensure that every possible step is taken to promote both inward investment and placing a greater focus on small and medium sized businesses.

“The location of Coleraine and the North Coast offers many advantages to potential investors . Investment needs to be tailored to the particular situation which exists here, which has seen a loss in manufacturing jobs over the last number of years and where there is potential for employment opportunities in tourism.

The forthcoming Open Golf Championship in Portrush in June should provide an opportunity to showcase the region. ”