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.
Delight as Donemana Village Renewal Project Completed
Work has now been completed on the Donemana Village Renewal Project which included a new and improved outdoor space in the village.
The work carried out has seen the installation of an outdoor garden with seating, raised beds, and planting as well as a small kickabout area with artificial grass and a goal wall including a basketball hoop. It also includes new steps to improve access to the outside area.
It was the fourth and final of a series of Small Parks Village Renewal Projects carried out by Derry City and Strabane District Council, with other projects completed in Artigarvan, Ardstraw and Drumahoe.
In Artigarvan and Ardstraw there were upgrades to play areas, with new equipment for each including a wheelchair accessible ground flush roundabout, basket swing and zip line, as well as landscaping improvements, while, in Drumahoe, an improved access pathway, adult exercise equipment, landscaping and signage was installed.
The combined cost of the four projects was £200,000 and they were delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from funding allocated by Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, who is also the Chair of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership (LAG), said the completion of the project is fantastic news for Donemana and for the Drummond Centre Project after some challenging years.
“I’m absolutely delighted to visit Donemana and to see this work first-hand which provides a great space for the Drummond Centre Project and the Donemana community to enjoy.
“The green space ties in with our Council commitment within the Green Infrastructure Plan, and the recreational facilities are a space for young people to get some exercise in while socialising with friends.
“Facilities like this are so important for our rural communities and following the flooding of the original Drummond Centre Project’s premises in 2017 this is certainly a massive and well-deserved step forward for them.
“As Mayor and as Chair of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership it is my pleasure to attend the official opening of these new facilities and I want to wish the Drummond Centre Project and everyone in Donemana well as they enjoy this wonderful space.”
David Buchanan, The Drummond Centre, added: “This is a great day for everyone here in Donemana and for ourselves at The Drummond Centre Project.
“We have experienced a lot of ups and downs over the past few years so to have this facility now complete is a very positive achievement. It’s a space that we know will be so deeply appreciated and well-used by our young people and by everyone within the village.”
Advice and Support Available as Part of Alcohol Awareness Week
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, has said being aware of recommended limits and the effects of alcohol, and education around the potential dangers of alcohol, is extremely important.
The message comes as part of Alcohol Awareness Week, which takes place from Monday 14th to Sunday 20th June. It is supported by the Public Health Agency and the five Drug and Alcohol Coordination Teams and centres around encouraging people to take a closer look at their drinking habits by counting their units to see if they’re staying within the recommended weekly limits.
Mayor Warke said that taking some time to evaluate personal alcohol consumption is recommended.
“Many people like to enjoy alcohol in moderation, but sometimes it can be very easy to find yourself consuming more than is recommended without even realising.
“This can have a negative impact on both mental and physical health, so it’s hugely important that everyone consuming alcohol is aware of the legal age, the recommended limits and is checking in on how that measures up with their own habits.
“The stresses and challenges of the past 16 months, and how much we have all been staying at home, may have led to some people drinking more alcohol than they typically would have before, so Alcohol Awareness Week this year is a particularly good opportunity to pick up a few helpful tips on how you can make small changes that will have a big difference in ensuring you can enjoy alcohol safely and in moderation.”