A new and exciting Tourism Programme is being launched this Spring by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council to support local tourism and hospitality businesses to explore the potential of developing new collaborative products that will help with the recovery of the tourism industry in the region.
30 businesses from across the North West City Region will be in a position to avail of this free programme which will see businesses supported to collaborate with other businesses to develop strong product offerings that will enhance the visitor experiences in the region, increase dwell time and encourage visitors to travel around the region.
Supports include one to one and group mentoring opportunities as well as business development workshops and businesses will also be in a position to avail of a small grant in the region of £2,500 which can be used on items or services that will help the businesses to re-open, develop new products or take advantage of new opportunities arising in the market.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, said: “This is the first time the Councils have come together to deliver this type of support package and we’re confident that this joint effort will really help the tourism businesses across the region. It has been a very difficult 12 months but we’re sure that this programme will help local businesses to work together to develop a collaborative approach to rebuilding the tourism industry. All participating businesses on the programme can also apply for grant support of £2,500. The grant will help the businesses re-adjust for their re-opening and ultimately help them become stronger in the long term.”
Transform The Sector
Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Rena Donaghey welcomed this new programme stating “the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has had a major impact on tourism businesses in the North West. Faced with significant reductions in revenues, many businesses within the tourism sector, small and large, have been forced to cease trading for long periods of time and lay off a significant portion of their workforce. To address these challenges head-on, Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council have joined forces to offer tailored support to local tourism and hospitality businesses through this new North West Regional Development Programme which will help transform the sector and the region as we know it”.
The programme will recruit 30 businesses from the two Council areas and run from May to July. Through one to one mentoring a team of tourism experts will help participating businesses to address the individual business’ needs and use group mentoring to explore product development and potential collaborative working. Participants will also have the opportunity to be included in a national marketing campaign promoting Staycations in the region.
Free to Participate
The programme is free to participate on and is open to Tourism & Hospitality businesses who are committed to participate in all elements of the programme; are located in either Donegal County Council or Derry City & Strabane District Council and who are committed to participating in the programme evaluation.
Businesses interested can apply for the programme online. Deadline for applications is 26th April 2021.
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.”