STRABANE town centre is to benefit from a cash injection of £30,220 to deliver a range of initiatives aimed at boosting the local economy.
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business and Culture Committee were appraised of the funding from the Department for Communities (DfC) to deliver the Enhancing Strabane Town Centre Programme.
“The aim of the programme is to deliver a range of projects and services that will boost the local economy through increasing footfall of shoppers and visitors, assisting local businesses to target new customers and improving the physical environment during the festive period via installation of new lighting structures,” a report presented to councillors stated.
The programme will complement the work of the Strabane BID Company and assist local businesses in attracting customers and contribute to the overall transformation of the town centre.
Among the improvements are plans to install new Christmas lighting structures to make the town more festive and inviting for shoppers and the introduction of pedestrian footfall counters.
“For retail food and drink businesses, the weeks leading up to Christmas are crucial to a successful trading year, therefore it is proposed to enhance the existing Christmas light offering to make Strabane town more festive, inviting and engaging.
“The programme will facilitate purchase of three 3D lighting installations to be located in the town centre,” the report added.
Two pedestrian footfall counters will assist with the gathering of data to help measure performance in the area, evaluating the success of marketing and promotion by identifying the additional footfall and/or spend generated during events or as a result of promotional activity.
Additional support for businesses will also be made available in the form of assistance in developing digital resources for local entrepreneurs, micro businesses and social enterprises.
The programme will facilitate the design and delivery of five new websites for businesses, following a competitive application process, as well as six workshops to help companies effectively market and promote their products and services online.
Welcoming the funding, Mayor Michaela Boyle said: “Delighted that Strabane town centre is to benefit from funding support from the Department for Communities with £30,220 secured to provide a range of initiatives.
“New Christmas lighting structures, footfall counters, and digital support for businesses are among the improvements planned. Great to see the continued focus on regenerating the Strabane area.”
Chairperson of the Business and Culture Committee, councillor Shauna Cusack, added: “I am delighted to see this financial support being channelled into Strabane town centre. The improvements will help local businesses and enhance the shopping and visitor experience in the area.
“In tandem with the planned public realm transformation and significant capital investment already in the pipeline for the town, this will continue the drive to build the local economy and boost local businesses.
“It’s another step towards the rejuvenation of the North West and the delivery of the aspirations set out in the Strategic Growth Plan for the area.”
The Enhancing Strabane Town Programme is to be delivered by March 31, 2020 with Enterprise North West already appointed to deliver the business workshops.