30/08/2011

Corporation Tax Defeats Derry Jobs' Bid

An SDLP MLA from Derry has said he has reservations about whether or not a pharmaceutical company ever had any true intention of investing in Londonderry - even though the company boss has said it was purely a financial decision to take the jobs south of the border.

Global Pharmaceutical Centre of Excellence (GPCE) had been in talks to bring 300 jobs to the City, but has now opted for a site in Tralee, Co Kerry instead.

The SDLP's Mark H Durkan has said he fears Derry was used simply as a bargaining tool to get a better deal in the Irish Republic - even though a lower rate of corporation tax has been given as the reason for the Derry bid's failure.

His comments have also been slammed by the Sinn Fein Councillor Maeve McLaughlin who has accused Mr Durkan of jeopardising future investment opportunities from the Global Pharmaceutical Centre of Excellence (GPCE) group of Companies.

"Obviously I am disappointed that GPCE have decided to opt for Kerry for their Phase I but I am also conscience that the company has proposed a IV phase strategy for investment in Ireland.

"However the accusation by Mark H Durkan could jeopardise consideration of any future GPCE investment coming to Derry," she insisted.

"The remarks from Mark H Durkan do not reflect the opinion of the majority of the political or economic community in Derry who worked tirelessly to in their efforts to bring this project to the city and could impact negatively on Derry bidding for the next phase.

"I think that he may have been annoyed because of the positive comments made about the Sinn Fein contribution to the bid and his complimentary comments about the 'can do' attitude of the Derry Business Community.

"His remarks reflect his naivety about how to attract inward investment."

However, the company's Chief Executive said lower corporation tax in The Republic had been a factor in the decision.

"The level of assistance that the company received when it went to Derry through Sinn Fein and all the people on the ground was something they had never encountered before," Rory Doyle said.

"But unfortunately at this stage, economics won out."

(BMcC/GK)

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