Strabane Fair

Strabane History Society tells Derry and Strabane Council: Save Milltown House

The Business and Culture Committee of the Derry and Strabane District Council met on the 8th of September in the Council Hall in Derry’s Guildhall to discuss the Strabane History Society’s proposal to transform Milltown House and Lodge into a Heritage or Visitor’s Centre. Mr Pat McGuigan and Mr Roger Smyth were invited by The Chair to address the committee regarding the proposal. In his statement given to the Committee, Mr McGuigan referred to the history of Strabane and its nature as a small but historically significant town and the proposal would give future generations to opportunity to know of Strabane’s history.

Councillor Michaela Boyle of Sinn Féin stated that the proposal was ambitious but one that she would support but further queried the representatives if alternative funders had been approached. At which point, Mr McGuigan ratified that it was important that the Council was approached first before seeking alternate funders. Councillor Raymond Barr, Independent, proposed that the Council move to engage with Tourism NI as well as the education authority to receive funding from the Education Authority. Despite this, Councillor Barr amended his proposal after Councillor Shauna Cusack, SDLP, urged the Strabane History Society to not restrict funding to Tourism NI as well as the Education Authority and advised the representatives to pursue alternative funding.

The proposal was met with a cross community consensus as Alderman Warke of the DUP expressed the view that his party was prepared to support the proposal given. As a result, the Committee recommended that Council Officials engage with the Strabane History Society to further discuss the transformation of Milltown House and Lodge into a Heritage or Visitor’s Centre. An update on progress will be presented at a future Business and Culture Committee meeting.

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