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first_imgDeputy Charlie McConalogue has claimed the decision to abandon the National Spatial Strategy means Letterkenny’s status as a Gateway town has been lost – jeopardising future investment in the area.The Donegal TD says the town is now in limbo as a result of the move by Environment Minister Phil Hogan and businesses will suffer.“The decision to drop the National Spatial Strategy without any sign of a replacement plan for over a year leaves Letterkenny and the other 18 Gateway towns and hubs in utter limbo. This could have enormous consequences for Letterkenny and the surrounding area, putting future growth and investment here in jeopardy.” The National Spatial Strategy was originally designed to promote balanced regional development to offset dominance by the Greater Dublin Area and to help foster economic growth nationally by utilising our national resources effectively.Letterkenny is one of 18 hubs that has benefited form the status and helped lead to growth in recent years.But the Environment Minister Phil Hogan has announced plans to scrap the strategy with no replacement planned for at least another year.Deputy McConalogue continued, “Under the National Special Strategy, Letterkenny had a central role in attracting infrastructural investment and acting as an engine of growth for the surrounding area. This was particularly important in cross border relations with Derry. Now that the strategy has been completely abandoned by Fine Gael and Labour, the future role of Letterkenny is in doubt. “Businesses basing their long term projects on the plans outlined by the National Special Strategy now have to deal with greater uncertainty about infrastructural projects, population bases and transport links. Given the pressing need for job creation across Donegal the news that our Gateway town has been dropped will only create further uncertainty.“The government needs to start taking job creation in Donegal and the North West seriously. We have already seen through information supplied to Fianna Fáil last week that the IDA only achieved 3 investor visits in Donegal over the past two years compared to dozens in some other counties on the east coast, which have benefited enormously as a result. Figures from Enterprise Ireland also show a net loss of jobs in Donegal last year in contrast to the national trend. This latest news is another blow to hopes of investment in Letterkenny.”But Labour Party chair , Peter Cutliffe has challenged Deputy Deputy Charlie Mc Conlogue’s assertion this week that Minister Philip Hogan’s decision to abandon Gateway status for Letterkenny has jepordised potential investment in the town.“The National Spatial Strategy was another Fianna Fail smoke-screen suggesting the party was serious about creating jobs in the Region. I believe it was a myth and I challenge Fianna Fail and the Deputy to illustrate what direct benefit and jobs resulted from this strategy”, said Mr. Cutliffe .He continued that we badly need job- creation activity in the County as a whole and until we see the banks releasing credit to business , we will continue to struggle. “I really believe that job-creation is only possible if the Banks become more proactive and no amount of strategies can replace actual funding for job-creation,” Mr Cutliffe concluded .INVESTMENT IN LETTERKENNY IN DOUBT AFTER HOGAN ABANDONS GATEWAY STATUS FOR TOWN was last modified: February 19th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Charlie McConalogueGateway StatusinvestmentletterkennyPhil Hoganlast_img read more