Minister opens £700,000 Derry business park

Social Development Minister, Des Browne, has opened a £700,000 business park in the south Londonderry village of Swatragh today.

The project, consisting of eight work units housed in two buildings, is the latest in the CRISP programme that aims to stimulate economic growth in towns and villages throughout Northern Ireland. The park has been trading for just over a year and already 75% of its accommodation has been taken up by local enterprises.

The Minister was joined at today’s ceremony by William T McCarter, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, which also provided a major part of the funding, along with the Department for Social Development. Additional finance was also provided by the Magherafelt Area Partnership.

The Minister said: “This achievement is a permanent tribute to the spirit of self-help in the village of Swatragh. The already high occupancy level shows that we are meeting our objective of encouraging local enterprise in disadvantaged areas.

“We have now worked with the IFI on an impressive total of 77 such projects which have injected new life into towns and villages throughout the province, all of which are contributing to the wider economy. It is significant that no less than nine of these are in the Magherafelt District Council area.”

William T McCarter added: " The project will provide much needed workshop and retail accommodation in the village, it will provide the Association with rental income and will, hopefully, act as a catalyst for further property development in the village."

The Swatragh business park is to be complemented later this year by a £200,000 environmental improvement scheme to spruce up the appearance of the village in general.


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