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Smaller towns need ‘spin-off boost from City Deal’

A CALL has been made for smaller towns such as Sion Mills and Castlederg to be included in the ‘magnificent funding boost’ from the City Deal.

Following the news that Strabane will receive over £76m funding to completely regenerate and transform the town, a local councillor has asked for the benefit of the funding to be felt beyond Strabane and Derry.

Funding of £250m will be invested in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area over the next 15 years with hopes of creating 7,000 jobs.

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Projects include Strabane town centre regeneration which will see the major development of the Strabane Canal Basin site into a new leisure centre, health hub, education campus, an innovation centre and civic building.

The project will also include a footpath that will link all these services to Strabane town centre, while nine other projects are also in the pipeline.

Cllr Derek Hussey said it was a great achievement to receive the funding but added it is important that rural settlements such as Castlederg also benefit from the City Deal.

“Well done on achieving the magnificent achievement that is the City Deal – and I quote – this is the biggest funding injection into the city and district that we have ever seen,” Cllr Hussey told a recent meeting of Derry and Strabane Council.

“Now, I don’t want to be looking a gift horse in the mouth but looking into the mouth at this time and I see a great row of front teeth, and this is a milestone day for Derry and a tremendous benefit to Strabane town. But I am mindful of the spaces further into the back of the mouth,” Cllr Hussey explained.

“I hope that it comes to fruition that we will see this tremendous funding boost for the city and district and that we see the benefit, particularly the physical regeneration benefit, being up-taken beyond the city and Strabane town… Let’s see the benefit being distributed with equity across the entire district.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 4 Castle Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AB