Newry, Mourne and Down Re:generation Underway
During the emergency response to the worldwide outbreak COVID-19, our elected members, officials and key partners continued to work in the background, progressing vital regeneration projects for both Newry and Downpatrick.
Both projects are vital to the recovery of the local economy; improving the wellbeing of our communities, and a welcome confidence boost to our local construction sector.
On Thursday 18 June, and on Monday 22 June the latest progress meetings were held for the Irish Street Downpatrick and the Newry City Centre Regeneration Projects. All key stakeholders reviewed the latest progress update and key milestones achieved on both.
Following the meetings, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “Councillors and officials have been working remotely during this lockdown period with our consultants to progress the Newry City Centre Regeneration project. Significant progress has been made with design development work and consultations with our statutory authorities.
“In addition, some key milestones for the Newry, Mourne and Down area have been achieved, including the commencement of the pubic consultation for the Albert Basin Park, the Community Treatment & Critical Care facility for Newry has obtained planning approval, the first stage of an Outline Business Case has been approved by the Southern Trust for the acquisition of the site of the Council offices at Monaghan Row, and the Department for Infrastructure minister has recently announced progression of the A1 junctions project, the Southern Relief Road, the Narrow Water bridge and the Ballynahinch bypass. These are all significant infrastructure projects for our district and will support the range of private sector, residential and commercial development that obtained planning approval across the district during the lockdown period.”
Cllr Devlin continued, “In Downpatrick we are working with our partners in the Department for Communities and local stakeholders, to develop an online engagement process, to inform the preferred end uses for the site and allow for our key stakeholders to have input into the development brief, which is critical to the success of the project.
“At a time of unprecedented economic challenge, the commitment of investment across our district is critical. Under the Newry City Centre Regeneration, the Council has secured funding through Belfast Region City Deal and committed to invest in a civic centre and theatre and conferencing facility that includes extensive public realm works. While the Downpatrick Regeneration Scheme is in the early developmental stages, it will also stimulate significant investment for the local economy.”
When asked how important these projects would be for the local construction sector John Armstrong from the Construction Employers Federation commented, “The Newry and Downpatrick Regeneration schemes are ambitious projects, that will drive transformative change, serve as a means of attracting inward investment, and provide a much-needed boost to the local economy. Investment in construction has a profound effect on economic regeneration. Every £1 invested into construction, will have a multiplier affect generating £3 investment into the economy. Employment opportunities will be stimulated both during and after the works, supporting local businesses, and helping to re-boot the local economy through investment in key infrastructural initiatives.”