It's Time to Re:launch! says Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have launched a new campaign called ‘re:NMD’

The Council is thinking of lots of new ways to rebuild, reopen, rethink and regrow, to safely deliver our services, meet your needs and make things better.

Theirr new campaign, called ‘re:NMD’, is a multi-faceted marketing strategy that is focused on reinvigorating communities and the local economy through the services we deliver.

Over the next weeks and months you will see elements of the ‘re:NMD’ branding applied across many of our services including our business programmes, environmental health, leisure, tourism, enterprise and community initiatives, to reassure you that we are doing all we can to bring together community, voluntary bodies, businesses and influencers to achieve recovery.

On launching the new campaign, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “All our worlds have been turned upside down within just a few short months. It’s a challenging time, but now we all need to think about new ways of working together. The Council itself has returned to business, finding new solutions to get its governance systems back up and running through online technology. Since the Annual General Meeting on Monday 1 June, meetings of the Planning Committee and Strategy, Policy and Resources Committee have reconvened with more scheduled in the coming weeks, allowing elected members and senior Council officers to make important decisions and provide leadership as we rebuild our district.

“Our economy is limited right now but over time, it will expand again. Together, we will find new ways to make all of our businesses work within our new normal. At Newry, Mourne and Down District Council we are working with partners across all sectors to enable business continuity, plan new delivery channels, develop new working practices and open new markets.

“Our Environmental Health team is providing advice, guidance and support to businesses on social distancing and how to implement government guidance as they prepare to reopen. Our Business Development Team will be supporting local shops in our towns and city centres to encourage people back through the doors and highlight the benefits of shopping local. We have also launched a number of initiatives to help our businesses skill up in digital and tendering capabilities as they seek to boost sales, generate leads and reach new customers. Our Tourism department is working with local residents and tourism operators, to find safe and gradual solutions to restoring our tourism activities that will encourage people out of isolation and back into accommodation, food and cultural establishments.”

Cllr Laura Devlin continued, “The health and wellbeing of the residents in our district remains a key priority. We’ve had to find new ways of adapting so we can still support people in their fitness journeys. During these challenging times the Be Active for Health Team is continuing to engage with referred clients to deliver live online physical activity sessions, weekly videos demonstrating exercise routines and weekly fitness challenges. We have also been supporting people with online home workouts via our NMD Be Active App and providing guidance on social media on how our customers can continue to look after their physical and mental health during these challenging times.  As we prepare for the green light to reopen some of our outdoor leisure facilities, we are now working hard to find workable solutions so that these facilities can be enjoyed again but in a safe environment. 

“As the situation is constantly changing, we will continually review how we deliver our services to meet the needs of local ratepayers. Many of our services have now moved online including virtual consultation workshops for the planned 15 acre Albert Basin Park for Newry, delivered via Zoom. The Council has also launched a new online grant application process for Financial Assistance Grants and Funding. This will provide a remote way of working, allowing applicants and Council officers a means to work more effectively and efficiently in a safe space.”

Talking about plans for recovery, Cllr Devlin said, “It’s difficult to see the green shoots of recovery right now but given the right conditions, care and attention, new growth will come. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is exploring ways our economy can grow and prosper in our new environment and shortly we will be launching new marketing regeneration campaigns for Newry and Downpatrick. These campaigns are focused on creating a new sense of pride and energy within the town and city centres and will co-inside with capital building and investment works to transform old spaces to attract inward investment, new businesses and visitors, which will grow these economies for the betterment of its residents and the entire district.

“Finally, it’s important to remember, and while we look to the future and plan how we can help everyone to adjust and prosper in the new normal, we are also looking back and acknowledging what we have lost. In the coming weeks, we will be considering how we remember those we have lost to COVID–19.

“Things are going to be pretty unusual for a while and we are all going to need support from each other, but we will get through this, Together.”

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