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£250,000 improvement scheme for Bridge Street

BUSINESS owners in the Bridge Street area have until January 11 to avail of funding from a pot totalling almost £250,000 for improvements to their properties.

The Department for Communities has earmarked the investment for shop front improvements, power washing, signage painting and the refurbishment of the Bridge Street entrance to the Strule Arts Centre.

It’s being carried out in conjunction with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.

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However, one local business owner in the street says traders should have been given more notice of the availability of the money.

“There should have been a bit more consultation with businesses in Bridge Street. At the moment, we just haven’t had enough time to apply for part of this funding package,” said Gerald Devlin.

“While the improvements are to be welcomed, the reality is that it will take longer than the January 11 closing date for many of us to have an improvement scheme ready to go.”

The Director of the Regional Development Office at the Department for Communities, Damian Mulholland, said the investment would enhance the retail environment and improve connectivity with the nearby High Street, the Ulsterbus Depot and Showgrounds Retail Park.

“It will regenerate a faded area within the town which includes dilapidated and run down properties as well as improving the entrance to the Strule Arts Centre,” he added.

The chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh Council, Howard Thornton, said this is “significant and much needed investment” in a key area of Omagh town centre.

He added, “The council is a strong advocate of working in partnership with other key stakeholders to deliver projects which make the district a quality place to live, work and visit.

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“The outcomes of this scheme will bring many benefits to businesses located on Bridge Street and will also help to improve the image and experience for those shopping and visiting Omagh town centre.”

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