Mid and East Antrim parklets project to boost town centres

Traders with limited indoor space are to receive help to bring their business onto the streets as Mid and East Antrim Council helps them to navigate their way out of lockdown.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 5:25 pm

A parklets project - featuring hedging, parasols and greenery areas - is in the pipeline to provide an array of opportunities the owner’s may never have had.

Council says it is fully supporting those businesses who are welcoming back customers. Shoppers and pub-goers alike will see welcoming signage across the town centres and Covid-safe initiatives are being rolled out.

As well as Covid Confidence packs (available on council’s website), hand sanitising stations and friendly reminders are dotted along the centres.

Council is supporting businesses who are welcoming back customers.

A number of further business support grants are also up for grabs to help bolster ones already launched throughout the pandemic.

The Town Centre Re-Purposing Grant scheme runs until June 30 and offers up to £30k in investments to revitalise vacant properties.

Council staff will be engaging with businesses over the next few weeks to find out what further support is needed.

The Mayor, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “We have come so far, and as restrictions ease, footfall is already up in towns across the borough. The last twelve months have been incredibly challenging for our local businesses but we are starting to see signs that better times are coming.

“As we look ahead to the reopening of all our businesses in line with the Northern Ireland Executive’s Pathway out of Restrictions, it is important that we give our support to them, while also mindful that all the necessary safety measures have been put in place to protect the health and wellbeing of our entire community.

“With these latest grant schemes we want to enable the regeneration of our town centres as we continue our journey towards societal and economic recovery. Council’s vision is that by focusing on regeneration initiatives such as this, we will ultimately help boost footfall in our town centres to secure and grow an array of businesses futures for generations.

“Our Environmental Health and Town Centre Development Teams are on hand to support our businesses right now, so I would encourage anyone who wishes to gain this important Covid Confidence mark for their premises to get in touch.”

The Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme is to support towns and city centres in their recovery with funding provided by the Departments for Communities, Infrastructure and Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

The funding is supporting a number of borough-wide initiatives, including grant funding totalling to date £443,933 to 281 independent traders, enabling them to implement ‘Covid-secure’ measures.

For more information visit: www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/covid-confidence-scheme

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