Two local authorities in the north west have joined forces to offer a new tourism programme to help with the recovery of the industry in the Donegal, Derry and Strabane areas.

Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council are offering the free programme to 30 businesses in the region to explore the potential of developing new collaborative products.

The supports will include one-to-one and group mentoring, business development workshops and a grant in the region of €2,500 to be used on items or services that will help the businesses to reopen, develop new products or take advantage of new opportunities in the market.

The cross-border initiative will run from May to July and will also include an opportunity to be included in a national marketing campaign promoting "staycations" in the region.

The programme has been welcomed by Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Rena Donaghey and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Brian Tierney who acknowledged the major impact the coronavirus has had on tourism businesses in the north west in what has been a very difficult 12 months.

Cllr Donaghy said the North West Regional Development Programme "will help transform the sector and the region as we know it".

Cllr Tierney said it is the first time that the councils have come together to deliver this type of support package and "we're confident that this joint effort will really help the tourism businesses across the region".