Downpatrick regeneration ‘offers some light’ for year

Downpatrick regeneration ‘offers some light’ for year

12 January 2022

A LOCAL politician has warned that 2022 could be a difficult year for the economy.

Downpatrick area councillor Dermot Curran says he fears there could be job losses in the retail sector and has called on Newry, Mourne and Down Council to do all it can to provide support.

He said the council should consult with the business community and also consider some form of rate relief.

He said the economic situation had been exacerbated by the pandemic and urged the public to adhere to Covid regulations.

“The virus has no respect for age or gender. We must abide by the rules in order we can bring the pandemic to an end as quickly as possible. There is no other way and we have to remain as safe as possible,” he remarked.

“I fully appreciate the damage which the pandemic has done to the local economy and I fear that there could be job losses in 2022.

“The business community in Downpatrick and surrounding towns and villages needs help. Many business are struggling and will continue to struggle unless they are given support.

“Newry, Mourne and Down Council has a big role to play and should be doing all it can.

“The council must examine all means at its disposal and also seek funding from the Stormont Executive. There is no time to waste and no stone should left unturned.”

Cllr Curran said one bright spot was the plans for the regeneration of Downpatrick.

He looked forward to the completion of a £200,000 scheme to upgrade Church Street and called for the implementation of the much larger scheme for the redevelopment of the former police station site in Irish Street.

“While things may appear bleak, the regeneration of Downpatrick offers some light,” he said.

“We must also look at ways of providing support for our other towns and villages, including Ardglass where there are plans to carry out major improvements to the harbour.”

Cllr Curran added: “We are going through a period such as which we have have never experienced before. It is imperative that we find ways of moving towards a prosperous future for ourselves and for our children.”