06 Jul 2022

£300k funding for Coleraine town centre a 'very welcome boost'

East Derry MLA Cara Hunter has welcomed the funding.

£300k funding  for Coleraine town centre a 'very welcome boost'

The Diamond area of Coleraine is to benefit from the funding.

Commercial properties in the Church Street and Diamond areas of Coleraine town centre are set to benefit from £300,000 funding.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has awarded funding of £300,000 to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to deliver a revitalisation scheme which will be used to enhance shop frontages, including replacement signage and painting, replacement of rainwater goods and repairs to render and brickwork.

Minister Hargey said: “This £300k investment is a welcome boost for Coleraine.  It will contribute to the long-term economic viability of this busy town and will complement previous revitalise schemes carried out in the Waterside and Railway Road areas. 

"This investment will help local businesses improve their shop facades making town centre shopping in Coleraine more appealing.  

"Through projects like these, my Department continues to help support our town and city centres as they continue the process of economic recovery.”

The scheme will be managed by to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council with work due to commence early in 2022 and be completed by March 2023.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Richard Holmes said: “Shoppers and business owners alike will welcome this opportunity to enhance Coleraine’s overall visual appeal.

"Investment like this allows us to look to the future with optimism as we work together to encourage people to shop, eat and enjoy local to generate greater prosperity in our Borough.

"Collectively, this will enhance the sustainability of our town centres and we are grateful to the Department for Communities for their continued support.

“This latest Revitalise scheme is focused on the town’s core retail area, including the location of the hugely successful Causeway Speciality Market and I look forward to seeing the completed works creating a newly revigorated town centre environment for the benefit of our visitors and shoppers.”

Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said the funding was 'a very welcome boost' to the town.

"This funding will help to improve the experience for shoppers and visitors and encourage people back into the town centre to support local businesses,” she said.

"Coleraine has many excellent businesses that have had a difficult couple of years and this funding will go some way to helping in the local economic recovery post Covid."

SDLP East Derry MLA Cara Hunter said the investment 'must be the beginning of the rejuvenation of the area'.

“Coleraine town centre has suffered greatly over the past decade and while this funding is welcome, it needs to be part of a wider plan to rejuvenate the area.

"Plans to enhance shop fronts and brighten up the town centre are welcome, but we need to attract more businesses to fill the empty shop units that line our streets.

"We also need to see similar schemes in our rural areas like Dungiven, Kilrea and Limavady to facilitate much-needed improvement works,” she said.

“Coleraine town centre was once a bustling hub of shops, market stalls, cafes and restaurants, but in recent years we have seen business after business shut their doors and the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t helped, with many of our existing businesses being put under severe pressure just to keep trading.”

Ms Hunter added: “The North Coast is an area of huge potential, each year we see tourists flock to our seaside destinations and for major events like The Open.

"If we want to capitalise on this then we need to be offer them the facilities necessary to attract visitors back year after year.

"Coleraine is the only major town in this area and we need to see sustained investment to build a town centre that rivals the offering of other nearby towns and cities, we’ve been left behind for too long.”

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