£18k funding would have made ‘big impact’ - Limavady Council

Limavady Borough Council has not been included in the latest round of Department of Environment funding, which will see £1 million spent on tackling dereliction in a number of towns across Northern Ireland.

Five council areas are to benefit from the latest round of funding, announced by Environment Minister Alex Attwood today.

Fermanagh will get a £380,000 boost in the run-up to the G8 summit. Belfast will benefit from a £300,000 package.

The minister said hundreds of derelict sites and properties will benefit, be it demolishing buildings at Broadway on the Falls and the Crumlin Road Belfast, a spruce up of Lisburn City Centre or removal of eyesores in Ballycastle and Bushmills.

However, a funding application to “freshen up” Main Street in Dungiven failed to make the Minister’s cut.

“Obviously, Limavady Borough Council will be disappointed at this - the funding we sought was not a huge amount, and would have made a big impact on freshening up Main Street in Dungiven,” said Limavady Borough Council’s Development Services Manager Paul Beattie. “This would have been especially important as a main arterial route for people travelling to UK City of Culture events in Derry. We’re still in the mix should further funding become available later in the new financial year, so fingers crossed for that. In the meantime, we will sit down with the main groups in Dungiven, talk to the Department of the Environment, and see what else can be included in a new bid. If we’re not in, we can’t win.”

Mr Beattie added: “Naturally, we’re glad that someone was able to benefit from this funding, so congratulations to Moyle, Lisburn and others who were lucky this time round.”

The Environment Minister says he is committed to looking at all future proposals to expand and develop the dereliction and dilapidation programme.

“Last year, I released over £400,000 for Portrush and Portstewart and over £500,000 for Derry,” said Mr Attwood.

“At that time I said I would continue to find funding for other areas. Today five more Council areas are benefitting. I commend the hard work shown by councils who have received this financial package and also the efforts being made by others to pursue it.

“In total twenty two councils have bid for funding. I will continue to look at all proposals to expand and develop this dereliction and dilapidation programme.

“Our built and natural heritage are essential elements of our economy and jobs. They will be the biggest part of future increases in tourist numbers and spend. Growing tourism from a £500million to a £1 billion a year industry will revolve around the positive protection and development of this heritage.”