Public realm on display

At the launch of Phase Two of the Lurgan Public Realm Works were (front from left) Des Lavery, Lurgan Forward; Simon Dowey, Chair of Lurgan Chamber of Commerce; Cllr Carla Lockhart, Chair of Craigavon Borough Council Development Committee; Charlie Gardiner, Lurgan Chamber of Commerce and Lurgan Forward and Chris McNabb, Hamilton Architects. INLM1712-802con'(back from left) Sarah-Jane Macdonald Regeneration and Economic Development Officer; Harry Hamilton, Lurgan Forward; Pat Mullan, Project Manager, Hamilton Architects; Nicola Wilson, Head of Economic Development; Richard Griffin, Development Manager; Jackie Anthony, Lurgan Chamber of Commerce; Ald Stephen Moutray MLA, Lurgan Forward and Damien Harte, Lurgan Forward. RicPics. 19/4/12.
At the launch of Phase Two of the Lurgan Public Realm Works were (front from left) Des Lavery, Lurgan Forward; Simon Dowey, Chair of Lurgan Chamber of Commerce; Cllr Carla Lockhart, Chair of Craigavon Borough Council Development Committee; Charlie Gardiner, Lurgan Chamber of Commerce and Lurgan Forward and Chris McNabb, Hamilton Architects. INLM1712-802con'(back from left) Sarah-Jane Macdonald Regeneration and Economic Development Officer; Harry Hamilton, Lurgan Forward; Pat Mullan, Project Manager, Hamilton Architects; Nicola Wilson, Head of Economic Development; Richard Griffin, Development Manager; Jackie Anthony, Lurgan Chamber of Commerce; Ald Stephen Moutray MLA, Lurgan Forward and Damien Harte, Lurgan Forward. RicPics. 19/4/12.

WORK is due to start on the second phase of Lurgan’s £2 million public realm scheme in September.

Drawings are on display in Lurgan Town Hall from this Monday until Friday, May 4.

Members of the project team will also be available to answer any questions on Monday from 9am-12pm and Thursday, May 3, 4.30-6.30pm.

Streets included in the second phase of improvements include High Street, William Street and Edward Street. Each street will receive new paving, surfaces, street furniture and landscaping consistent with the completed area on Market Street and Church Place.

Following a recent meeting with representatives of Lurgan Forward and Lurgan Chamber of Commerce & Industry Chair of Development Committee Councillor Carla Lockhart commented: “Council welcomes the input of local representatives and will continue to work in partnership with traders and businesses throughout this exciting project.”

Simon Dowey, President of Lurgan Chamber of Commerce & Industry added: “The meeting served as a valuable opportunity to meet the project team, review the scheme drawings and highlight the needs of local business. We look forward to receiving regular updates as this important project moves forward.”

Charlie Gardiner of Lurgan Forward noted: “These are exciting times for Lurgan. The public realm improvements are a vital component of our future. We would encourage people to view the plans when they are on display in Lurgan Town Hall.”

Mr Gardiner also told the ‘MAIL’: “Lurgan Forward and the Chamber of Commerce have lobbied to the highest level to secure the funding to bring the town into the 21st century and make it a town fit for purpose.

“After the controversial phase one of the public works it was critical for the town to have minimal disruption during phase two and many lessons were learned which should make phase two run smoothly.”

He went on: “Parking is the major issue with most people as the provision of on street parking in Lurgan is better than most towns in Northern Ireland and this convenience had to be defended.

“Phase two of the public realm scheme, after much negotiation, is losing the minimum of parking spaces but visually giving maximum impact.”

It’s understood High Street will lose five central reservation spaces on road safety grounds while extra spaces will be provided at William Street and there will be no change in the number of spaces on Edward Street.

An issue still being hotly contested is a proposal to remove one of the turning spaces on High Street, with counter proposals from Lurgan Forward and the Chamber to maintain the two spaces but with only one way traffic through them. It is felt this would maintain ease of traffic movement.

Mr Gardiner added: “Thought has been given to details which could enhance certain areas of the streets under the scheme. It will be much easier to cross High Street which, hopefully, will increase footfall and bring the vacant shops on the south side of the street into use.

“Many people say what’s in Lurgan but over the last nine months occupancy rates of town shops is higher than it has been for some years and hopefully this scheme will encourage more footfall in the town centre which, in turn, will bring more shops.”

Lurgan Forward and the Chamber of Commerce have, he said, been working closely with councillors, council officers and statutory bodies to promote the town in every way they can to encourage investment.

For further information on the public realm work please contact Richard Griffen, Development Manager on 3831 3618/richard.griffen@craigavon.gov.uk