Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie visited Blackwatertown today to officially open the new Bridge Business Park.
The Bridge Business Park will incorporate workspace for manufacturing, tradable services and offices.
Margaret Ritchie said: "This new business park overlooking the River Blackwater, will assist in the transformation of Blackwatertown into a village the community can be proud of. Regeneration projects like this one make a positive contribution to local communities and the people who live in them. I look forward to seeing new businesses thrive in this facility in the future.
"I want to pay tribute to the people who make up Blackwatertown Regeneration Association and other similar community, based organisations throughout Northern Ireland. Your communities would be much poorer in so many ways without your voluntary efforts."
Blackwatertown Regeneration Association has completed the scheme with assistance from the Department for Social Development, the International Fund for Ireland, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and Armagh City and District Council.
Sandy Smith, Joint Director General of the International Fund for Ireland, said: "My congratulations go to all those who have turned the vision of this project into a reality.
"The International Fund for Ireland is particularly keen to support projects which will have a lasting and positive impact, long after the fund ceases to exist. The fund recognises the importance of the Bridge Business Park to Blackwatertown Development Association and to the regeneration of the local area.
"The new, high quality, affordable business units provide the potential to attract start-up businesses and established small business and create new jobs which will help to strengthen and underpin community life in the years ahead."
Councillor Thomas O'Hanlon, Mayor of Armagh City and District said: "As Mayor of Armagh, I welcome the opportunity to be involved in the official opening of this fantastic new facility today. It is very satisfying to see the results of a positive partnership between Armagh City and District Council, DSD, DETI and Blackwatertown Community Development Association. Co-operation between all these agencies has delivered this new centre for the people of Blackwatertown and I am of no doubt that it will ensure a sustainable and prosperous future Blackwatertown."
Paul Carr, Head of European Programmes DETI, said: "I welcome being able to participate in the opening of Bridge Business Park, and am pleased that the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has been able to provide part funding towards the workspace development project under the Peace II Programme.
"This investment in economic infrastructure, with the assistance of Peace II funding, will help stimulate growth, develop potential, create jobs and facilitate skills acquisition. In so doing, it will contribute towards increased investment and employment opportunities for local people."
For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.
International Fund for Ireland
28-32 Alfred St.
+44 (0)28 9031 2884