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Major project to boost employment gets underway in Castlederg

Published on:  19 Jul 2007

Castlederg is to benefit from an investment of £700,000 which will create new facilities for business start-ups.

Churchtown Community Association, the project facilitators, today launched a new building which will ultimately provide over 7,500 sq ft of workspace, incorporating eight office units and three light industrial units, for local businesses.

Funded by the International Fund for Ireland, the EU Peace II Programme, and other partners, the project has been developed in consultation with the local community to ensure it meets the needs of potential business start ups in this deprived area of Castlederg. It is hoped that the project will also contribute to an increased business confidence in the area.

The project is being supported by the International Fund for Ireland, the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment, Strabane District Council, Western Health and Social Care Trust and the local community. The project site on Lurganbuoy Road has been provided by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. Churchtown Community Association is also working closely with local builders Muldoon Bros and architects Hegarty Architects.

Announcing International Fund for Ireland support for the project Alexander Smith, Joint Director General of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “We are delighted to support this vital project which will have a very positive social and economic impact in this area. The project will address an identified need for neutral community and commercial space in Castlederg which has a low level of economic infrastructure and is a community that has been deeply affected by conflict. Everyone involved in the project is to be congratulated.” 

Head of European Programmes in Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment, Howard Keery, said: “This project is a demonstration of how both the economic and social needs of Northern Ireland’s communities can be addressed through targeted assistance, and highlights the vitally important contribution the Peace II Programme is making to the economic well-being of Northern Ireland.”

Bernie Mallon, Community Development Officer, for the Western Health and Social Care Trust, said: “This is community development in action. This is a good example of statutory bodies working alongside community and voluntary groups to plan and develop services that will benefit the people of the area for many years to come. Everyone involved is to be congratulated.”

Gerard Foley, Chairman of Strabane District Council, added: "It is with great pride that I welcome this new initiative. Strabane District Council is committed to supporting all our rural towns and villages over the next four years. We want to promote sustainable development and make Strabane District an excellent place to live, work, invest and visit. This initiative assists council in delivering these aims and I commend Churchtown Community Association and all of the partner agencies for their contribution and support."

Paddy Devlin, Chairperson of Churchtown Community Association, said at the launch of the project: “Today provides a glimpse of the future for Churchtown Community Association, bringing together a number of benefits for this rural area including job creation and valuable community resources. We are grateful for the assistance of the four major funding bodies, which, together with the generosity and spirit of the local community is making the project possible.”

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