31/10/2013

Funding Unlocked For L'Derry's Vacant Spaces

Funding has been approved for a project to bring empty commercial space in the centre of L'Derry back into use.

Announcing the funding, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: "Like other town and city centres across Northern Ireland, Londonderry is suffering considerably as a result of the economic downturn. My Department’s involvement in this project demonstrates our ongoing commitment to redressing decline and improving the overall appearance these areas.

"The Vacant Spaces project will try to make use of vacant buildings in key locations in a way that can add value to the city centre and stimulate local businesses and employment."
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A Vacant Spaces project officer, employed through the City Centre Initiative (CCI), will market the vacant spaces concept and develop an action plan.

CCI City Centre Manager Jim Roddy said: "The current levels of vacancy in the city centre have a detrimental effect not only on the physical image of the street, but also for the economic success of the existing businesses. We are delighted to now have a dedicated vacant spaces project officer, who is working alongside all the key stakeholders in the City to develop a strategy to bring these spaces back into use.

"The hope is that by bringing short and medium term uses into the spaces, providing opportunities for community groups, start-up businesses and artists to access space that it will compliment and strengthen the existing retail offer. The long term result would be that of a more vibrant and enhanced city centre economy."

(IT/CD)

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