Public Realm gets funding

Nelson McCausland, minister for social development at the announcement of funding  in Lurgan Town Hall with Mayor Cllr Alan Carson, Councillors, business representives and guests. INLM2611-195gc
Nelson McCausland, minister for social development at the announcement of funding in Lurgan Town Hall with Mayor Cllr Alan Carson, Councillors, business representives and guests. INLM2611-195gc

FUNDING for the second phase of the town’s Public Realm Works has been announced by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland.

The £2 million scheme to improve High Street is due to begin at the beginning of next year.

William Street and Edward Street are also set to benefit from the work.

The Department of Social Development will provide £1.75m of the funding, with Craigavon Borough Council providing an extra £200,000.

On top of that, Roads Service will also provide an ‘in kind’ contribution.

Funding for other initiatives include £150,000 for Restore and £190,000 of Urban Development Grant to Wesley Trust for the redevelopment of High Street Methodist Church.

Mr McCausland insisted the scheme will have a positive impact on the town centre.

“This is great news for the businesses and residents of Lurgan,” he said.

“I am impressed by the comprehensive public realm works that have already taken place and by visualising what has yet to come, I am confident that phase two of the project will have a positive impact on the town centre.

“I am sure that once the regeneration works are complete, residents and visitors will spend more time in this established market town.”

DUP councillor Carla Lockhart, who chairs the Council’s development committee, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “This is a momentous day for Lurgan and is certainly a cause for celebration.

“These works will help put Lurgan on the map as a place to shop in, visit and enjoy.”

Simon Dowey, speaking for the Lurgan Chamber of Commerce, said: “The significant investment earmarked for this town will help to increase footfall that has been haemorrhaging over the past number of years. It will also help people to have pride in the town.

“The Chamber will be lobbying to keep the car parking spaces that we already have. Indeed, we will be putting on pressure to get more in the process.

“There is a much more positive attitude among traders and the community now.”

He added: “As well as supporting local businesses already in the town, we would hope to see businesses from outside Lurgan setting up.”

Sinn Fein councillor Johnny McGibbon said that it should be ensured William Street and Edward Street are included in the improvements.

“This is another welcome investment for Lurgan,” said Cllr McGibbon.

“We hope that this money will go a long way to improve the conditions in High Street.

“I would also be keen to see William Street and Edward Street included in these upgrades. There are many businesses down those two streets and they are bustling everyday.”