Reacting to the announcement of the £11m Capital Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Scheme for town and city centres, NILGA Economy and International Affairs Chair Ald. Stephen Moutray said:
“This is very welcome funding which will support our villages, towns and cities as they try and bounce back from the impact of coronavirus. In order to facilitate adequate social distancing and safely welcome people back into our town centres, they need to undergo a transformation. NILGA has been lobbying the Executive and the Assembly to release key funds and put in place schemes which will safely bring people back into our city, town and village centres. Councils across Northern Ireland reacted quickly to the economic impact of Covid-19 and established economic recovery teams which have been working closely with small, local businesses to support them.
“Investing in outdoor furniture, signage, outdoor heaters, and other items which encourage and enable people to visit businesses again can come at a great cost to local traders. This scheme will help local firms with these costs and support them as they get back on their feet. Our local councils, cities, towns, and villages can drive our economic and social recovery if they are given the proper backing to do so. Councils are uniquely placed to deliver schemes like these given their strong links with local business groups and a strong track record of delivering similar schemes. These measures give our local council areas the power and resources to be hubs of innovation and entrepreneurship and we hope that this is the first in a series of measures which support our councils and local communities in their post-lockdown recovery and revitalisation.”