Cookstown misses out on £1million dereliction cash

Councillor Trevor Wilson.
Councillor Trevor Wilson.
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COOKSTOWN has missed out on a chunk of £1 million of funding to spruce up the district - as Fermanagh is awarded almost £400,000.

The news will be a blow to council officers and traders who worked effortlessly to put forward representation for funding in December.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood announced the cash injections on Monday with Belfast, Lisburn, Moyle and Down also benefiting from dereliction funding.

But it was Fermanagh that was awarded the majority of the Department of Environment (DOE) budget due to the global G8 summit taking place there across two days in June.

The cash will be used to demolish derelict buildings, spruce up town centres or remove eyesores.

Cookstown was one of 22 council areas to apply for the cash in June, with council working with traders and business people to apply for the scheme.

Just five councils were awarded cash, leaving Cookstown and 16 others unsuccessful.

Cookstown councillor Trevor Wilson (Pictured) described the news as “disappointing” but said that council would be reapplying for the second round of funding in the summer.

“It’s extremely disappointing that Cookstown has not featured in this scheme at this time despite all the hard work that was put in by council staff,” he said.

“This news will also be disappointing to traders and business owners who had agreed to participate on the scheme.

“However, I am sure that all the hard effort will not be in vain as we hope to attract funding in the next round.”

The cash injection follows on from a similar amount of money having been pumped into Portrush and Portstewart in advance of the Irish Open and in Derry as a boost to the City of Culture year.

It is thought the Department of Environment received requests for over £5 million from the various councils.

Cookstown council is now seeking feedback on why the area was turned down by the Minister.