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Plans for regeneration of Sion Mills move to next stage

08 February 2018

Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council have given the go ahead for an ambitious masterplan for the regeneration of Sion Mills Village to progress following the appointment of an external consultancy team.

The team can begin work now on a heritage focused strategy which will support the sustainable regeneration of the village for the next 10-15 years. It will take into consideration a number of key priorities including heritage, conservation, regeneration sites, community infrastructure, commercial/economic development opportunities, tourism and recreation.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, today welcomed the decision, which he said would significantly improve the area. “I know the residents of Sion Mills will be delighted to see things moving forward on this project which will bring about the sympathetic regeneration of the village.

“This will in turn have a major impact on the local economy, stimulating business and creating new jobs as well as promoting tourism and social enterprises.”

Members approved the allocation of £30,000 for the preparation of the regeneration plan which will set out a number of phased improvements and development projects for the Village to be implemented over the next decade.

Council’s Director of Environment & Regeneration, Karen Phillips, said she welcomed the decision. “I am looking forward to seeing this project progress now to the next phase, and the proposed plans for the physical regeneration of the village as they evolve.

“The regeneration strategy will be delivered in keeping with the Strategic Growth Plan’s aim to develop and conserve our rural settlements, protecting and promoting our natural built heritage assets. Sion Mills boasts a number of historically significant sites which will form a key part of that strategy, and become a resource for the community in terms of tourism and building the local economy.”

GM Design Associates have been appointed to undertake the work, and the Masterplan will be complementary to the Village Plans currently being prepared as part of the Rural Development Programme’s ‘Rural Village Enhancement’ measure.