Dungannon open for business says Morrow
NOW that the Public Realm Scheme for Dungannon’s Market Square has got the green light to proceed, Dungannon Town Councillor Maurice Morrow MLA has said the town is very much open for business.
“I welcome the latest progress on this Council driven scheme. While some public representatives want to be negative about this progress, as one who has been endeavouring to push this scheme forward, I certainly welcome the Department of Social Development’s approval which will rejuvenate Dungannon town centre.
“Despite the image some elected representatives want to portray of Dungannon as a town falling behind, the opposite is the case. Together with the Castle Hill Scheme which is virtually complete and the Public Realm Scheme coming on these two Council driven schemes represent almost £8 million investment.
“A recent, widely published report listed Dungannon as the number one place in the UK to do business. To top the bill of the entire UK is a prestigious honour and speaks volumes for the town. Statistics show around 1800 firms were established in Dungannon over two-and-a-half decades, with only 522 closing up.
“In addition, Department of Finance & Personnel figures show Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council (DSTBC) area is the one of only three districts inside 26 councils which recorded zero redundancies for two consecutive six month periods over 2011/12.
“The Gardner Hall (formerly CIYMS) in Victoria Street is now complete and ready for the official opening. It will provide a state-of-the-art facility for the Milltown area and Dungannon town. This magnificent development received £120,000 funding.
“The ‘Virtual Shops Scheme’ at Perry Street transformed the approach to Dungannon and had been much commented on, not only in Dungannon, but visitors to the town have been very complimentary, and indeed other towns are contemplating a similar scheme.
“Dungannon Park camping and caravan site was so busy it had to turn people away over the summer months having been completely booked out. Plans are in place to expand the site to accommodate the ever-increasing number of visitors to the borough. It is no surprise given it is situated in the seventh most visited park in Northern Ireland.
“The first phase of the Council Scheme in conjunction with Dungannon Regeneration Partnership (DRP), aimed at improving the quality and appearance of shop fronts through the Shop Frontage Paint, Signage and Minor Repairs Grant is now underway, with Phase II out for application. The total amount available for this enhancement scheme is £112,000.
“These schemes, together with a further £300,000 benchmarked over the next three years makes to a total investment of just under £8.5 million.
“All of this has been achieved against a backdrop of 0% increase in DSTBC rates over the past three consecutive years – something which no other council in Northern Ireland has achieved. DSTBC also has the fourth least debt across all Northern Ireland councils.
“The roads in Dungannon town do require urgent attention but I have been assured by Roads Service that these will be dealt with when the Market Square Public Realm Scheme is progressing. “Dungannon will not be let fall behind and as MLA for Fermanagh/South Tyrone I will continue to work with the local council, local traders and other stakeholders to keep Dungannon as the best town in the UK to do business.
“Contrary to the opinions of others, Dungannon is very much open for business whilst striking the best deal for residents. Perhaps closer scrutiny of the facts – both fiscal and practical – would benefit nay-sayers who seek to cast a dark shadow over the very positive successes clearly evidenced in Dungannon town.”
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Weather for Dungannon
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: South west