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Strabane District Council today announced that it is embarking on a new approach to town centre regeneration. A new partnership between Council and local business entitled the “Strabane Town Forum” is to be established which will energise and facilitate the revitalisation of Strabane Town Centre as a place to do business, to work, to socialise and to live.
The Group will be made up of champions of local business and Councillors and it will be supported by council officers. It will be chaired by an elected member and there will be up to 6 Business Representatives, including a representative of the Strabane Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and an equal number of elected Councillors. The Businesses nominees will represent the different sectors of business locally. The Business Members will be ‘Champions of Business’ with an energy and commitment to work towards the improvement of the town centre.
The Chairman of Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian McMahon said: “Strabane District Council recognises the importance of Strabane Town Centre not only in terms of its economic and social significance but also its value in projecting an attractive, prosperous and welcoming public face for all who visit and live in it. The Council aims to see the town flourish as a unique and attractive shopping and service centre competing effectively with its neighbouring main towns on both sides of the Border in terms of range and quality of the services on offer.”
Interim Chief Executive, Danny McSorley added: “Strabane District Council has reviewed its approach to the economic and physical regeneration of Strabane Town Centre in response to the concerns of the local business community and the action plan set out in the Town Centre Masterplan published last year. Key elements of the review outcome include the decision to develop a Strabane Town Forum and the realignment and refocus of officer responsibilities. “
The Strabane Town Forum will develop and implement an agreed action plan which could include: - A pilot retailer programme, marketing to raise the town centre profile, parking and accessibility review, street cleansing and graffiti removal, encouraging landlords to address dereliction, energising businesses to improve their premises/windows and developing a website or social networking opportunities.
Recruitment to the Strabane Town Forum will be through a publicly advertised process, commencing next week. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate their business skills and experience together with their commitment and capacity to work as part of a team. “We want the members of the forum to make a real difference to the town. The recruitment advertisement will be featured in next week’s press and the application forms will be downloadable from our website. I would encourage anyone who fits the criteria to apply” said Councillor McMahon.
“It is important to articulate that this Forum is not intended to replace or replicate the work of the Strabane Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Strabane Chamber of Commerce is being invited to nominate a representative to the Strabane Town Forum. Strabane District Council is committed to supporting and facilitating the work of this forum and fostering a positive partnership arrangement between the Council and local business” added the Council chairman.
For further information on the Strabane town forum please contact the economic development department of Strabane District Council on 028 71 382204.