22/05/2014

Minister Launches 'Watch This SPACE'

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has announced funding of £22,000 to continue a pilot project to bring empty commercial space back in to use in L'Derry.

Watch this SPACE identifies vacant properties for cultural and community uses bringing life back into unoccupied units and the surrounding area.

Minister McCausland said: "Vacant property is a real public concern; one in every six premises in the core commercial area of Londonderry is currently empty. Watch this SPACE addresses this concern and helps to bring life back into the city centre with many of the units being used by young creative talent for social activities.

"My Department's involvement in this project demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving the overall appearance of the City and promoting community participation and ownership.

"The additional funding will continue to increase the potential for use of vacant buildings in key locations in a way that can add value to the city centre, stimulating local businesses and employment."

City Centre Initiative (CCI) will act as project promoter and liaise with landlords to match suitable spaces with potential tenants, who will be able to avail of short term leases. While the project will focus mainly on premises that are in a good state of repair, CCI will explore possible sources of funding to enable the refurbishment of buildings requiring internal repairs.

(CD)

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