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deputy First Minister visits historic West Belfast Mill

11 June, 2008

Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness today visited the historic Conway Mill in West Belfast, to recognise the important contribution the complex has made to the economic and cultural regeneration of the area and to hear about plans to redevelop the complex.

The deputy First Minister said:

"The Conway Mill Development Group was established in 1982 and since its formation the group has made an enormous contribution towards the promotion of local economic enterprises and job creation opportunities in West Belfast.

"Conway Mill is one of the last surviving mill buildings that shaped the economic and social character of Belfast. It lay derelict until a group of local people recognised its potential to promote economic and artistic renewal. I am pleased that departments, including OFMDFM, are supporting the further development of the site. I believe that by working with local communities and by investing in their vision, we can further regeneration, create prosperity and tackle poverty.

"The Mill complex sits in the heart of a community which for years has been blighted by unemployment and poverty. Its location is ideal for providing educational opportunities for adults and young people alike and supporting the development of cultural and creative enterprises."

Mr McGuinness added: "The intended redevelopment of the site is welcomed as it will not only improve the working conditions for existing tenants, it will be a resource for the local community and an attractive base for new enterprises and fledging businesses which can only be good news for the area and Belfast as a city." ENDS

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