NEWRY, Mourne and Down District Council continues to implement the ‘COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation Plan’ to deliver financial support for a range of businesses across the district’s urban and rural settlements.
A total funding package of £1.9m, which was introduced to support towns and city centres in their recovery, was secured from the Department for Communities (DFC) Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme, funded by the DfC, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the Department for Infrastructure (DFI).
Since the ‘COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation Plan’ was launched in 2020 significant progress has been made in allocating the funding to various initiatives supporting businesses across the district and putting in place measures to facilitate economic recovery in rural and urban settlements.
Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey said, “My Department introduced the COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme to provide assistance to our town and city centres as they respond to and recover from the pandemic. I am delighted that so many small businesses within Newry, Mourne and Down have benefited from practical assistance to improve their retail public spaces to make them safe and welcoming for staff and customers. I wish them all well as we ease out of restrictions and am pleased my Department has been able to support them during this time.”
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “I am delighted that this much needed funding is being delivered on the ground to our small business owners who have been so severely impacted by COVID-19. Our businesses have suffered greatly over the last year and the allocation of this funding through the ‘COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation Plan’ provides an opportunity to try and offer some much-needed support, both directly to traders and to make our retail public spaces a safer environment.”
The Council’s Shop Enhancement Scheme has issued over 500 letters of offer of grant aid to small business owners, representing an investment of £1.1m. Projects which have received grant include the provision of sanitisers, signage, painting schemes, awnings, outdoor furniture and IT items to facilitate remote working.
An investment of £50,000 has been made in the development of the Council’s artisan markets. The outdoor markets provide a safe place for local producers and crafters to promote their products and offers shoppers the opportunity to support small producers in an outside environment.
To promote the area as an exciting location to visit, and to shop in, an extensive marketing campaign is being developed. The campaign will be launched in May and will highlight the businesses and attractions in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area.