Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has met with key representatives from Derry City Centre to identify measures to boost economic growth in the city.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
DOE Planning has established a Retail Stakeholder Group in tandem with City Centre Initiative to bring together key organisations to discuss ways to tackle trading issues affecting the City Centre and promote economic growth in the area. This includes retailers operating in both the Waterside area and City side as well as other stakeholders such as Department of Social Development (DSD), Derry City Council and the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.
The Group discussed:
- Dereliction funding ? the Department of Environment provided ?500,000 funding which has successfully improved the appearance and vibrancy of the city centre in advance of the Fleadh; Derry City Council is now working towards a further bid.
- Vacancy levels in Derry City and how to tackle these;
- Unauthorised retailing in industrial estates ? consideration of how this could be tackled to prevent adverse impact on the City Centre trade.
Mark H Durkan said: ?Bringing together a range of key stakeholders is a common sense approach to protecting retail in Derry City Centre. Getting heads together around a table and thrashing out the key issues and more importantly - potential solutions - will help promote the vitality and viability of the City Centre.
?I am personally committed to the regeneration of Derry City as the economic heart of the North West. Convening and supporting this Group is further proof of this. The DOE has already played a central, positive role in the development of the City. Planning decisions on Ebrington, the Peace Bridge, Fort George, the Science Park ? just recently a recommendation for approval for playing pitches and a clubhouse at Bay Road - show a firm commitment to help shape the City for the future.
?My aim as Environment Minister is to build a better environment and a stronger economy. I understand that retailers in the City face significant challenges in the current economic climate - that is why they should input to potential solutions. Everyone has a stake in helping to protect the City Centre and increase the profile of Derry as the retail and tourism centre of the North West, attracting customers from across the area, both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.?
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