Other News In Brief

DAERA HQ Renamed To Make Queen's Jubilee

The headquarters of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has been officially renamed Jubilee House in recognition of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Speaking at an official renaming ceremony at the Ballykelly building, which opened in 2018, Minister Edwin Poots said: "It gives me great pleasure to rename Ballykelly House as Jubilee House to mark and celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee.

"As one of DAERA's three headquarters, I believe the renaming of this state-of-the-art building will reflect and honour Her Majesty's outstanding 70-year reign. It is just one of many events and schemes we have organised in the Department to mark the Queen's Jubilee."

Concluding, Minister Poots said: "My Department has supported a number of Jubilee-related projects including £100,000 to fund a bespoke Pollinator Garden as a legacy of the Platinum Jubilee. A 500-year-old oak tree at Belvoir Forest Park has also be chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Trees to be dedicated to The Queen in her Jubilee year."

Annual Day Of Reflection' Announced For 21 June

Belfast City Council has agreed to host a 'Day of Reflection' at City Hall on Tuesday 21 June.

Following approval of the Council, the event will be held annually, providing an opportunity for people and communities across the city to acknowledge "the deep hurt and pain caused by the conflict in and about Northern Ireland".

Belfast City Hall will also be illuminated in yellow to mark the Day of Reflection.

The event, which has received cross-party support, will offer an opportunity for quiet reflection and remembrance, and there will be a 'drop in' programme of activity between 10am and 5pm.

Party Group Leaders on Belfast City Council said: "As a Council, we recognise that many people here are still living with the legacy of the past, and there has been deep hurt and pain caused to many as a result of the conflict here.

"We acknowledge that many people throughout the city suffered deeply as a result of the conflict.

"As civic leaders, we hope that by hosting this annual event and providing a quiet, safe space, it will give people an opportunity to reflect and remember in a way which is personal to them."
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The day will start at 10am with the screening of a short film by local organisation, Healing Through Remembering. The film will be repeated on the hour, every hour until the event closes at 5pm.

There will also be poetry and prose readings throughout the day.

A 'thought tree' will be in place and attendees will be invited to share their hopes for the future by adding a leaf, with a personal message, to the tree throughout the day.

Details of support organisations will also be available on the day.

For more information visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/dayofreflection 

Strabane Town Centre To Be Given Facelift

Funding of almost £100,000 is to be invested in improvement works in Strabane.

Up to 36 commercial properties on Derry Road and Market Street in the town are to benefit from a refresh as Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey announces funding for painting works.

The Department for Communities has awarded funding of almost £100,000 to Derry City and Strabane District Council to deliver the project to enhance shop frontages.

Minister Hargey said: "I'm pleased to support this project which aims to boost the regeneration and development of Strabane town centre.  Around 36 commercial properties will benefit from a refresh of shop fronts, increasing their appeal to shoppers and adding to the vitality of the town.

"Our towns and city centres have faced significant challenges in recent times, particularly as a result of the pandemic.

"I am committed to supporting their economic viability as shopping and social hubs and make them great places to shop, work, visit and live."

Welcoming the project, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Sandra Duffy, said: "This is an important streetscape regeneration initiative in Strabane Town Centre which will greatly improve the overall presentation and appearance of the commercial properties along both streets.

"The work will complement other recent environmental improvement initiatives, including the recently completed Shopfront Enhancement Scheme in the Butcher Street/Church Street area, and supports ongoing efforts to build the local economy after what has been a very challenging time. I would like to thank the Communities Minister for her ongoing support for the long-term regeneration and development of Strabane."

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