Following funding from the Stormont Executive, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has launched a ‘COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation Plan’ to deliver financial support for a range of businesses across the district’s urban and rural settlements.

The announcement of the scheme follows the ministerial approval of funding for town and city centres to tackle the economic impact of COVID-19.  £433,000 of funding for the ‘COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation Plan’ will come from the Department for Communities (DfC) and a further £157,000 will be awarded from the Department for Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). 

The Revitalisation Plan is to be rolled out in two phases, with Tranche One seeking to deliver shop front enhancements, create space to facilitate social distancing, develop outdoor artisan markets and undertake town centre promotional campaigns under the ‘Shop Frontage Revitalisation Scheme’.  Tranche Two will involve approval of an additional delivery action plan following a stakeholder engagement process and will seek to address issues in relation to dereliction, signage improvement as well as enhancing and cleaning existing town centres where required. 

In welcoming the funding, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “We are delighted by the announcement of much needed funding from DfC and DAERA for our district. Our businesses have suffered greatly over the last five months and the allocation of the funding through the ‘COVID-19 Recovery Revitalisation Plan’ provides an opportunity to try and offer some much-needed support, both directly to traders and to make our retail public spaces a safer environment.” 

The Plan will begin with an Expression of Interest (EOI) process on the proposed ‘Shop Frontage Scheme’.  If you need assistance to enhance your premises and make it COVID-19 safe, EOI forms and further information are currently available from WWW.NEWRYMOURNEDOWN.ORG  Completed forms must be submitted by the deadline at 12noon on Friday 28 August.

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