Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee have praised ongoing work by Council to create a new local food agenda promoting food nutrition and sustainable practices.
Members received an update this week on Council’s application to the Sustainable Food Places (SFP) network to become a Sustainable Food Place creating a transition to a healthy, sustainable, and more equitable food system.
The network helps cities to establish multi-sector food partnerships, develop local food strategies, and implement positive action across a wide range of food issues. This is achieved through shared learning and skill sharing and by supporting members as they seek to strengthen their food partnerships with guidance, advice and small grants.
Leading Food Destination
Members heard more about the work already underway to progress Derry and Strabane’s ambition to promote more sustainable and responsible approaches to food production and consumption. A number of initiatives have been bringing local partners together with a shared food agenda, including the The Legenderry Food Network and the launch of the Local Food & Drink Strategy 2019-2025, building the City and District’s profile as a leading food destination.
The Council is also working with the Acorn Farm Food Partnership, a collaboration between Community Foundation (NI), Council, The Conservation Volunteers and University College Cork. This partnership aims to ‘create a sustainable urban food system which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is resilient to the effects of climate change’.As member of the Food Access Partnership, in recent months Council has established as a direct response to the Covid19 food crisis. The partnership aims to develop short, medium and long term food poverty and embed this working into Council’s Strategic and Local Community Plans.
The partnership comprises of Council, Local Growth Partnerships, Foyle Food Bank, Fare Share, APEX Social Supermarket, Churches Voluntary Trust and Strabane Community projects.At the meeting, Council’s Director of Environment and Regeneration, Karen Phillips, flagged plans to bring the three partnerships together as one forum namely, the Northwest Food Partnership, to work together to create a new sustainable food system for the region.
New Food Movement
This project is strategically aligned to the Acorn Farm successful bid to the UK Climate Action Fund to create a ‘new food movement’ in the Northwest.Members endorsed the recommendation to match fund the £5,000 available through Council’s successful application for a Sustainable Food Programme Development Grant, with £5,000 from existing Council budgets.
Chair of the Environment and Regeneration Committee, Maurice Devenney, welcomed the news saying. “I am delighted to see Council reach the next stage in its sustainable food journey. We are becoming more aware of the impact of our carbon footprint particularly when it comes to food production. This programme will allow us to explore further opportunities to use our own resources to promote sustainable local food sources that are both more cost effective and more environmentally friendly.”
Mayor Pleased to see Public Shopping Local on Visits to Businesses
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, visited some local businesses across the district this week to speak with business owners and staff about moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Tierney said he was happy to speak directly with the businesses in Strabane and Castlederg about the challenges they have faced and the pathway moving forward, as well as hearing about the stringent measures in place to prioritise customer confidence and safety.
“I was glad to meet with some of the local businesses across our district this week and hear more about the positive steps forward now that many of those businesses have reopened or are preparing for a scheduled reopening in the coming weeks.
“It was fantastic to see lots of people supporting those businesses while I was out and about and to see that all of the businesses have measures in place – such as social distancing, hand sanitizer, and limiting customer numbers at any given time – to instil confidence in all members of the public that they can support local and be assured that everything is in place to protect both themselves and staff,” said Mayor Tierney.
Business Revitalisation and Recovery
“I can fully appreciate how much of a challenge the past year has been for our businesses across a wide range of sectors, and I look forward to the weeks ahead when we hope to see more of those sectors reopening and returning to a more normal operation of business.
“Once again I would just like to encourage everyone to support local across the district as much as you can.”
Local businesses who have been negatively affected by COVID-19 are being invited to take part in Derry City and Strabane District Council’s recovery campaign which will focus on promoting the shop local message and supporting local businesses within the district.
Businesses who have faced challenges over the past year as a result of the pandemic can make contact via Council’s shop local website to express an interest in becoming part of the campaign by 14th May 2021.
The campaign is being organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council with funding through the Department of Communities’ Business Revitalisation and Recovery Programme.
Mural to Mark Farren Unveiled at Brandywell
Derry City and Strabane District Council have unveiled a mural to former Derry City player Mark Farren at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
The mural, which was painted by local company Peaball Creatives, was unveiled to Mark’s parents Michael and Kathleen, and his aunt Brigid. Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Cllr Brian Tierney was in attendance, alongside Derry City FC Chairman Philip O’Doherty and Manager Ruaidhrí Higgins.
The mural has been placed on the tunnel of the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium in the stand which has also been named after Mark, who played for Derry City from 2003 to 2012 and made 209 appearances for the Candystripes.
A Positive Legacy
Mark tragically passed away in 2016 aged 33 after a brave battle with cancer, and Mayor Brian Tierney said Council were happy to pay tribute to someone who had such a positive legacy in the city.
“I am truly honoured both as Mayor of this city and district and as a lifelong Derry City fan to attend the official unveiling of the mural of Mark which now forms part of the Mark Farren Stand.
“We know that Mark’s story and his legacy will be spoken about for many years to come, and we hope that this mural will be a fitting tribute to the role that he played in the football history of Derry and celebrate the joy that he gave to so many football fans here in the city.
“Mark’s family continue to be in the thoughts and prayers of us all.”
Philip O’Doherty, Derry City FC Chairman, added: “Mark will always be a huge part of the history of Derry City Football Club, and we are happy to join Council in celebrating his life.
“Mark was more than just a player here. He has left a real legacy at the club and it is fitting that his image will greet the players every time they take the field.
“We are delighted that Council have also kept Mark’s memory alive both with the stand named after him, and this fantastic mural.”