28/06/2002

Government welcomes West Belfast Task Force report

Local government has welcomed the recent presentation of the West Belfast and Greater Shankill Task Force Report.

Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, and Nigel Dodds, Minister for Social Development, were at the Millennium Community Outreach Centre, Springfield Road, where they joined the group that launched the West Belfast Task Force Report on March 4, 2002.

Both welcomed the report and said it was a "significant document that captures the issues, concerns and ideas of the community, businesses, schools and agencies in both areas."

Sir Reg said that his department was committed to tackling social deprivation and to the economic regeneration of areas like the Greater Shankill and west Belfast.

Mr Dodds added: “Its timing is very opportune. Consultation on our draft regeneration strategy for Belfast will be complete at the end of the month and we also have a new Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy that is close to being finalised following a consultation process. The new and imaginative thinking found in the report is a welcome addition to our considerations.”

Sir Reg also paid particular tribute to the strong private sector engagement to date and the initiatives taken forward by Bombardier in conjunction with Springvale Training, Impact Training and Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education.

He added: “Government will continue to respond to the recommendations and the timing of these responses will be affected by the need for further policy consideration, ongoing discussions with local community groups and financial and resource implications."

The full Government response to the Report can be accessed at www.detini.gov.uk weblink

or www.dsd.gov.uk

(SP)

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