Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, has praised the high standard of entry in the Flower of Sweet Strabane window dressing competition following the formal announcement of the winners in the town centre this week. The initiative, hosted by the Strabane BID in conjunction with the Department for Communities, invited local businesses to dress their front windows in a floral theme. The overall winners were women’s clothing store Bonmarche who received a cash prize of £1,000 while runners up prizes of £500 and £250 were awarded to The Railway Bar and Dixie’s Bar.

“Strabane Town Centre was looking resplendent this summer thanks to this initiative which added a splash of colour to the frontage of local businesses,” he said. “Thank you to Strabane BID and the Department for Communities for coordinating and funding the project. “Well done to all the businesses who took part, particularly the winners who went the extra mile in decorating their premises.” As part of the project Strabane BID issued free flowers to town centre businesses and painted the Pagoda in the town centre. The competition is one of a range of initiatives being coordinated by the Strabane BID who are currently going through their renewal ballot for another five year term. The InStrabane Gift Card has brought over £80,000 in spend to the local economy while Christmas initiatives have brought extra footfall into the town centre during the festive season. BID Chairman, Kieran Kennedy, has urged local businesses to vote yes in the ballot by September 23rd to ensure such positive projects continue.

“I am delighted to present this proposal to set out how we intend to work for, represent and support all of our local businesses over the next five year period,” he said. “It’s an exciting time, especially with the £70m investment coming as part of the City Deal whereby our town centre stands to be transformed for the better. “I would sincerely urge you to lend us your YES vote in our upcoming ballot to make sure BID can represent and reflect your voice and views in the rolling out of this much needed radical change to our town. “The commitment and expertise of our BID board members, alongside the recruitment of a full time Town Centre Manager, now enables BID to be even more active and responsive to our business’ needs and emerging challenges.”