Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 13:20 UK

Low civic pride 'held city back'

The body was set up to help regenerate Derry

Weak leadership and a lack of civic pride were to blame for slow economic development in Londonderry, the chair of regeneration body Ilex has said.

Sir Roy McNulty also said the city's ambience "failed to make visitors feel truly welcome" and Derry was not achieving its tourism potential.

The comments were made in a 2008 report to Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Sir Roy also criticised the lack of joined-up thinking among public bodies.

Ilex, was set up to regenerate Derry, with a focus on the former army bases of Fort George and Ebrington.

Both the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) and Ilex released statements on Tuesday in which they said they were fully supportive of each other.

A spokesperson for OFMDFM said: "In partnership with DSD we are fully behind Ilex in its role of transforming the city to meet the demands of the 21st century, restoring civic pride and confidence while respecting and building on its historic and cultural legacies.

"We welcome the progress to date since the chairman's report last summer and would support Ilex as it moves forward in this important work for the people of the area."

The department conceded a number of challenges needed to be met, with a focus on the importance of co-ordination.

The OFMDFM said that all bodies and interests are represented and aligned with the plan to regenerate the city.

In its statement, Ilex said it had worked closely with the department over the past year "to improve the level of joint working and co-operation" with a wide range of public bodies.

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