Sinn Féin Councillor Maeve McLaughlin has said the resources must be put in place to fund a face lift for the city centre. Colr McLaughlin called on environment minister, Alex Attwood, to ensure that a sufficient funding package is in place to carry out the planned refurbishment works.
Colr. McLaughlin said thousands of visitors are expected in the city over the next few years and it is important that the city centre looks as good as possible.
“Whilst we fully welcome the Department’s contribution towards those North Coast towns which will benefit from this year’s Irish Open golf tournament, it is important to remember the vitally important period which lies ahead for Derry.
“Thousands upon thousands of visitors are expected in the city over the course of the next two years and it is essential that their first impressions of Derry City centre are positive and long lasting,” she said.
The Sinn Féin colr. called on the minister to make an announcement on when funding will be made available for the facelift of the city centre.
“I would take this opportunity to call upon the DoE Minister Alex Attwood to indicate at an early stage that he is prepared to give proportionate support to this city as we prepare for some of the world class events which will be taking place in the near future,” she said.
Plans have been discussed to improve the appearance of the city centre ahead of the City of Culture celebrations next year. Some of the options that have been discussed involve painting derelict buildings in prime locations.
Other ideas include replacing shutters on shop fronts so that the city centre looks more inviting, particularly in the evenings when shops are closed.
The environment department has also announced details of conservation schemes in the city centre to restore the city’s built heritage by repairing old buildings in an number of areas.