NI councils receive funds to tackle dereliction
Fifteen Northern Ireland councils are to share £1.5m from the Department of Environment (DoE) to tackle decay and dereliction in their areas.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said the funds would be used to enhance the environment and in turn boost tourism and local trade.
He said the dereliction funding scheme was going from strength to strength.
The money was confirmed by Finance Minister Sammy Wilson two weeks ago as part of the June Monitoring round.
Mr Attwood said £2m had already been spent in nine council areas, including Belfast.
"Many more can now do so. This is a project of increasing significance," he said.
"Tourists will be put off by eyesores. If we deal with dereliction, vacant properties and abandoned building sites, we create the opportunity to attract local investment and tourists."
Mr Attwood said councils that received funding should "press on" while he continued to bid for funds to take the scheme forward.
"This investment is also for the people of the area. They will have the character of their built environment improved," he said.