Eighty businesses in Inishowen have banded together to launch a major initative to rebuild and regenerate their community.

Speaking yesterday the chairman of the East Inishowen Business Association Brian McDermott stated their aim was ‘to do it for ourselves’.

As a catalyst for this ambitious plan Mr. McDermott confirmed his grouping will be launching a state of the art website at St. Eugene’s Hall James Street, Moville this Thursday night which, it is hoped, will provide a platform for local businesses to promote the region and their products and services across the globe. The evening will kick off at 8.45pm,

Mr. McDermott was adamant they can no longer wait on outside agencies: “As we felt there is little hope of Government support we decided to put all our efforts into saving what remains of what was once a thriving town, together with our neighbouring villages and try and stop the haemorrhaging of young people leaving our community having no choice but to leave for distant shores to find employment.

“We all agreed that we would work tirelessly for the benefit of all our citizens and businesses to promote and encourage new ventures where possible and help sustain existing jobs, it is our intention to rebuild and utilise the natural resources we have on offer.”

Pointing out the association was formed last year in response to the rapid increase in unemployment and the closure of many long established shops, hotels and factories in local towns and surrounding areas the well known community chef remarked: “Our organisation is and always will be strictly non political.

“It is made up of a cross section of local people of mixed gender and religion, working exclusively for the good of others.

“At present we represent 80 local businesses that between them employ approximately 200 people.

“We will promote the development and expansion of our leisure activities for all our citizens, utilising the many resources in our location where possible.

“We will encourage and support educational programmes and courses for young and old, and hopefully this may help those who seek local employment, or who wish to start a new business venture.”

Inviting the public and those local stake holders who wish to see an economic improvement to come along to the website launch Mr Mc Dermott concluded: “This website gives us in the community an opportunity not only to show off our natural resources but highlight upcoming summer events and festivals, and with the summer just around the corner our new website will help show prospective visitors from all over the natural beauty, friendly character and rich cultural history of East Inishowen.-”