Sinn Féin South Antrim MLA, and Junior Minister with The Executive Office, Declan Kearney has welcomed the launch of the Capital Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Scheme, an investment of £11 million aimed at supporting villages, town and city centres in their recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic.
Speaking after the launch in Antrim town, Declan Kearney said:
“I am delighted that my South Antrim constituency hosted the launch of the Capital Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Scheme brought forward by the Department for Communities (DfC) and Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
“I was pleased to join my ministerial colleagues, Carál Ní Chuilín (DfC) and Edwin Poots (DAERA) for the launch on Antrim Town’s High Street. It will also be one of many town centres across the north set to benefit from this significant financial injection.
“Covid-19 has had a major impact on our town centres. Businesses have suffered a serious downturn in economic activity and are now facing the challenge of rebuilding trade while managing the public safety measures which are necessary to help us begin to emerge from the pandemic.
“The funding, administered by our eleven local councils in two tranches of £6 million, and a subsequent £5 million, over the coming months, will deliver measures to help provide a safe and welcoming environment for shoppers, visitors and workers.
“As a result of the first funding tranche, Antrim and Newtownabbey council will receive £255,000. I want to see this funding used to assist in the revitalisation of towns and villages across South Antrim, and similar benefits accruing in Glenavy from the allocation awarded to Lisburn and Castlereagh council.
“I very much welcome this positive intervention which I hope will help to restore confidence in the shopping experience locally and also stimulate local businesses and retail activity.”