Support encouraged for initiative aimed at boosting employment and tourism

June 4, 2013

A new initiative entitled ‘Colourful Past – Confident Future’ will be launched in Crossmaglen Community Centre this Friday June 6th at 10.00am.

Guest speaker Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will officially launch the project, which is aimed at promoting the Crosssmaglen and wider south Armagh area in a positive light to visitors, residents and investors.

The event sees the culmination of months of work by a number of groups including Newry and Mourne District Council, local councillors, Crossmaglen Rangers GFC, Crossmaglen Chamber of Commerce, Crossmaglen Community Association and TADA rural support network to devise a constructive plan to help boost the area’s economy.

Representatives from Louth County Council, Castleblaney and Monaghan Town Councils, Newry and Armagh MLAs, the area’s MP and many more public representatives will attend the launch to show their support for the south Armagh community and local businesses.

A number of local groups will have promotional stands at the launch highlighting the work they do in the area including the Castleblaney South Armagh (CASA) initiative, the Rural Women’s Network, the South Armagh Tourism initiative, the Shop Local campaign, Intertrade Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.

Crossmaglen Chamber of Commerce will use the event to unveil its document on the future of the area and the council’s Village Renewal Plan, which indicates, among other things, what can be done to secure its future.

Local award-winning florist, Siobhan Hughes, will receive a presentation to mark her recent success in the Chelsea Flower Show.  While journalists will be given the opportunity to tour the Slieve Gullion region, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to highlight its huge tourism potential.

Ahead of the launch, Councillor Terry Hearty said businesses and residents of the area deserved support and called on the whole community to get behind this initiative.

“This event will present an opportunity to lobby representatives from a number of major funding bodies and encourage them to use the area’s potential to attract investors and help to create jobs in the area.  Even just 30 or 40 new jobs would make a major difference to our town,” he said.

Pointing out Crossmaglen’s close proximity to Newry and Dundalk and easy access via the motorway to Dublin or Belfast, Mr Hearty said the area has huge potential and, with the proper support, could help boost business and employment locally.

“We are in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but our most valued resource is our strong and capable workforce.  I’d urge everyone to come out and support this great initiative,” he added.