THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Development Minister gives government's commitment to economic boom in Londonderry

From the News Letter, July 23, 1969

By Darryl Armitage
Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 6:00 am
Pictured in November 1973 are, from right, Brian Faulkner, leader of the Unionist Party, Willie Whitelaw, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr Oliver Napier of the Alliance Party and Mr Gerard Fitt, Social Democratic Party, leaving Stormont Castle. Picture: PA Wire
Pictured in November 1973 are, from right, Brian Faulkner, leader of the Unionist Party, Willie Whitelaw, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr Oliver Napier of the Alliance Party and Mr Gerard Fitt, Social Democratic Party, leaving Stormont Castle. Picture: PA Wire

The News Letter reported that the Minister of Development Mr Brian Faulkner had hailed the recent boom being experienced by the city Londonderry as a modern success story and he told the people of the city that their future may within their hands.

The minister made his comments during the official opening of the Arntz Belting Company’s new Londonderry factory.

He told a large party of official guests, including members of the Development Commission, employers and trade union representatives that the Northern Ireland Government departments and agencies were eager to support the well-being of the area.

Mr Faulkner said: “With the utmost conviction I can tell you that the Northern Ireland Government and the Londonderry Commission are determined to do the very best for the city. I can tell you for the Government, that for its part it is determined that Londonderry’s potential will be fully realised.”

He added: “That is no empty promise. Just look at what already has been achieved.”

The minister then highlighted that some 4,500 new jobs in the manufacturing industry had been negotiated for the city since 1966 and that 1968 had seen the city secure several major projects, including the Arntz Belting Company, which represented some 2,300 new jobs.

Mr Faulkner said that the greatest “drawing card” of the city was the pool factory workers in the area.

Reflecting on this work force he said: “And good adaptable employees they are too. I was able to assure incoming firms such as Du Pont, Towler Bros and Molins of this attraction and I know that their experience has shown that this is true.”