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Million pound plans

Newry and Mourne looks set for a double dose of economic optimism with news that seven businesses are considering locating in new industrial premises at Carnbane. What’s more Rostrevor looks set for a face lift with the Department of the Environment  expected to confirm details of a funding package aimed at upgrading the appearance of dilapidated premises in the south Down town in the coming days. Earlier this week DOE Minister Alex Attwood has announced £1m of funding for similar projects in Fermanagh, Belfast, Lisburn, Moyle and Down District – with many eyebrows raised in relation to Newry and Mourne’s absence from the beneficiary list. However Crotlieve Councillor Connaire McGreevy (SDLP) a party colleague of Mr Attwood has said that rather than being left out a funding package for the region would be confirmed by the Minister in the ‘very near future.’ “Alex Attwood is fully aware of the importance of Rostrevor being able to project the best possible infrastructure face to a world television audience (in August’s World Police and Fire Games),” Councillor McGreevy said. Although a small initial sum is expected to be announced later this week it is hoped a larger sum will  be secured following an Executive meeting this Thursday. The funding would be in addition to a new public realm scheme for Warrenpoint’s Church Street, the Narrow Water Bridge project, the Mourne Coastal Route project and the Kilbroney Mountain Bike trails and as such would provide a further boost to the local tourism offering. In more good economic news the Department of Enterprise Trade and Industry (DETI) has told the Reporter that seven businesses have made enquiries in relation to basing themselves at new industrial land at Carnbane. Work on the 73 acre facility is currently ongoing with DETI predicting a springtime opening. “Invest Northern Ireland has invested £19m towards the acquisition and development of Carnbane Business Park,” a DETI statement read. “This investment forms part of Invest NI’s land holding policy to develop land for industrial use in locations where the private sector is unwilling or unable to do so. Land at the new business park will be available on a long term lease basis for qualifying businesses from Spring 2013. To date 7 qualifying businesses have enquired about locating on the estate and Invest NI will be working with these companies over the coming months to develop their interests,” it read. In a statement the developments Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade said it was positive that the facility could help kick start an economic revival in the region. “The news comes as the businesses and retail community in Newry have been working together to discuss strategies going forward to assist the border city in continuing to kick the trend during the current economic downturn,” acting Chief Executive Colleen Dowdall said. “The announcement by Invest NI that seven companies have enquired is encouraging and Newry Chamber welcomes this news. This new business space will not only encourage inward investment and offer an attractive proposition for companies wishing to locate in Newry but it offers significant opportunities and growth potential for new and existing businesses already established in the city.”          


Newry Reporter

6th February 2013