Donnelly says focus must be on regeneration after pandemic

COVID-19 Stephen Donnelly Economy West Tyrone

The focus across West Tyrone must be on regenerating town centres and allowing villages to prosper after the pandemic, Alliance’s Stephen Donnelly has said.

Councillor Donnelly, recently selected as Alliance’s West Tyrone spokesperson, said towns and villages throughout the constituency had been deeply damaged by the effects of COVID-19 and its consequences but as society begins to emerge from the crisis, there was a chance to change the approach of what had gone before.

“COVID-19 has impacted every part of our society and its impacts will be felt for some time to come. West Tyrone is no different,” said Councillor Donnelly.

“In particular, local businesses and workers have experienced a deeply damaging time, with livelihoods in some cases completely changed or even destroyed. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we need to ensure there are changes to how things were done before.

“We need to help those businesses reestablish themselves and to do that, the focus must be on regenerating our town centres and allowing villages to prosper. That can be done in a number of ways, including bringing empty properties back to life, focusing on increasing our digital connectivity and tackling social deprivation.

“Things need to be done differently as we come through COVID and this is a chance for West Tyrone to do that.”