20/12/2001

Strabane vision sets example for others says Durkan

The establishment of the Strabane 2000 initiative means that the town has set an important example for others to follow, Deputy First Minister, Mark Durkan has said.

Mr Durkan was speaking during a visit to Strabane when he was given an update on the initiative.

The Deputy First Minister said: "This time last year I was pleased to attend the first annual review of the Strabane 2000 initiative. Today on the second annual review I would congratulate those who have contributed to the work done to progress this initiative.

"By bringing together a range of statutory and private sector organisations you were able to identify important issues to be addressed. Many other areas across Northern Ireland could benefit from the vision and determination you have shown to improve Strabane.

"We in the Executive also have an important responsibility to help regenerate and sustain our cities, towns and rural areas. This will be done by bringing about improvements, not only in the physical infrastructure, but also in peoples lives and economic opportunities.

"Through our New TSN Action Plan we will aim to improve economic and social conditions. We will also produce new strategies for the regeneration of the most disadvantaged urban areas and for town and city centres, using EU funding programmes to strengthen our approach.”

Mr Durkan added that the voluntary and community sector had a vital role to play in regeneration issues, and the Executive would take action to develop the community infrastructure in disadvantaged areas. (MB)

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