19/02/2019

Other News In Brief

Lord Mayor Opens New Davitt Park Facilities

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, has officially opened a range of new community sports and recreation facilities at Davitt Park, St. Mary's Gardens.

The project was funded by £1.15 million from the council's Belfast Investment Fund and Schools Enhancement Fund.

The facilities also received a further £345,000 from The Space and Place Programme, through the National Lottery Community Fund.

Fermanagh & Omagh Council Launches ICAN Festival

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has unveiled details for the 'ican fest'- the first ever festival in the area for people with disabilities.

Funded by the Public Health Agency, the Council has programmed a number of fun and exciting activities aimed at children and adults with disabilities and their families.

It will run from Monday 04 March until Saturday 09, allowing participants to engage in a range of creative and leisure activities including balloon modelling, pottery, jiving, inclusive leisure activities and more.

A Health Fayre will take place on Thursday 07 March at the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum from 11am to 2pm, and a children's Fun Day will be held at the Bawnacre Centre Irvinestown on Saturday 09 March, where youngsters can take part in activities such as a 'Build a Teddy' workshop and a magic show.
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Speaking at the launch of the event, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton said: "ican fest will provide people with disabilities and their carers with the opportunity to get out, be active and most importantly have fun. With 1 in 5 residents of the district living with a disability, it is important for us to promote ability and inclusion within society. This Festival goes some way towards providing people with disabilities the opportunity to explore different activities which they may carry on into the years ahead.

"We all must recognise the importance of social inclusion and the positive impact that taking part in activities has on both people's physical and mental health. I would encourage everyone to support the initiative and take part in as many activities as possible and above all, to have fun!"

NI Employment Rate Hits Record High

Northern Ireland's employment rate hit a record high at the end of last year, according to the latest government figures.

Statistics from the Department for Economy's Labour Force Survey revealed that the employment rate was 70.3% by the end of December.

Despite the increase, it remains below the UK average of 75.8%.

Levels of economic inactivity, the number working-age people not working and not seeking or available for work, was 26.8% by the end of the 2018 - an annual decrease of 1.6%.

The report also notes that the number of confirmed redundancies across Northern Ireland in 2018, 2,575, was 50% higher when compared with the previous year.

Roger Pollen, head of external affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, said the figures demonstrate that, despite the current political and economic uncertainty, business owners are continuing to perform.

"However, there is much to be done to improve the business landscape, as Northern Ireland has now gone for two years without ministers making decisions, which risks us being left behind on skills, infrastructure and business support," he explained.

"Today's figures show what the private sector can do for the economy, which underlines the need to ensure it is not carelessly damaged."



(JG/MH)

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