Cunningham in call to support local businesses

5 07 2014


Castle Street

Ballycastle SDLP councillor and current Chair of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningam is urging people to make an effort to ‘shop local’ as much as possible following the 4th July campaign to back Independents’ Day.

 The Independents’ Day initiative was designed to underline the fact that local traders not only play an important role in boosting growth by creating job opportunities, but also to keep town centres vibrant and welcoming.

Councillor Cunningham who chairs the ‘Revitalise Ballycastle’ said the concept of Independents’ day marries well with the objectives of the regeneration project.

“Our aim is  to promote the social, economic and environmental development of Ballycastle and to market the town by emphasising to tourists, visitors and shoppers what a great place Ballycastle is, with it’s  array of unique, independently owned shops, cafes and restaurants with delicious food, relaxing ambiance and of course world renowned stunning landscapes and seascapes.”

 Cllr Cunningham said: “Traders continue to experience serious challenges during the economic downturn, and as they continue to complete with online retailers and other pressures, so it’s important people make an effort to shop local as much as possible, supporting local businesses that provide employment. “

 “Ballycastle has so much to offer, and often shoppers can find unique items they won’t find anywhere else. Our traders make a huge contribution to the local economy so we should all, as much as possible, support our shops, cafes, restaurants and other small businesses.”


Jobs needed to boost economy of small towns

10 09 2013

Following the closure of a number of family run businesses in the town, Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called for Government policy to place greater emphasis on jobs and business growth in order to support the economies of small towns.

Councillor Cunningham, who is chair of the Revitalise Ballycastle programme which focuses on the regeneration of the historic streetscape of Castle Street and Clare Street, warned that thriving town centres have to be places in which people work.

If small towns continue to hollow out, they will not be able to provide the environment to attract and retain the businesses that will support the economy in the future business growth

To date much of government policy has been about treating the symptom of moribund town centres, and not the cause, which is the lack of workers who are likely to spend their money locally.

 ‘Thriving town centres have to be places in which people can work, as well as live, play and shop – and that means thinking more broadly about the location of  jobs and support for business  growth. ‘

£100k for Moyle

4 02 2013

ann street


SDLP Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed the news that DOE Minister Alex Attwood has approved funding of £100,000 to deal with decay and dereliction in the Moyle area.

 Councillor Cunningham who chairs the “Revitalise Ballycastle” steering group which is seeking funding to deal with the regeneration of the town centre, and in particular the conservation areas of Castle Street and Clare Street said:

 “Not for the first time the Minister has been able to show the ability to invest unspent monies into the built environment of coastal towns and villages.”

“It is hoped that this intervention will help to stabilise trade in our towns and villages, improve our tourist and visitor appeal, and build up respect for the conservation and unique appeal of our streetscape and built heritage.”

 “On top of Ministers Attwood’s funding if the “Revitalise” project was successful it could offer grants to improve historic buildings within Castle Street and Clare Street to enhance the historical character of the buildings and contribute to an improvement in the local economy as well as remaining an attractive place to visit.”


Upgrade of Clare Street lighting welcomed

19 01 2013

Clare Street

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed Roads Service commitment to upgrade street lighting on Clare Street.

 Councillor Cunningham said “I had raised the issue with Roads Service at the Council meeting of 12th November, they have now confirmed in writing that following a survey at the location an upgrade of the street lighting has been agreed.  I am particularly pleased at this news as Clare Street and Castle Street are the two designated areas which we hope to attract regeneration funding for under the Town Centre Revitalise scheme.”

 “Smart attractive streets improve the appearance of town centres. The streetscape of Ballycastle is vitally important and the new street lighting is one of a number of measures required to make our streets more attractive and welcoming.”