Scheme aiming to bring new life to the town centre

picture:Darryl Mooney
picture:Darryl Mooney

AN exciting new initiative, which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, and helps budding entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground while re-opening town centre properties, has been launched in Lurgan.

Organised by Craigavon Borough Council’s Development Department in partnership with Lurgan and Portadown’s Chambers of Commerce, the innovative ‘Meanwhile Space’ initiative aims to re-invigorate the town centre by enabling budding business men and women to use and transform a vacant shop to grow and promote their business and ideas while helping the landlord actively market their property and increase footfall to neighbouring businesses.

picture:Darryl Mooney

picture:Darryl Mooney

The launch took place at the first ever newly opened Meanwhile Space shop in High Street, Lurgan. The premises have been transformed by Victoria Cunningham-Downey into a yoga business, offering a wide range of classes from local instructors.

“We are delighted to launch this innovative project which takes a fresh and new approach to addressing and making use of our town centre properties,” commented Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Alan Carson, “Meanwhile Space will help to ensure our shops continue to be active and welcoming and is another important step in providing a holistic development service for our town centres.”

Chair of the Development Committee, Councillor Carla Lockhart, added: “This exciting new project is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and is all about reinvigorating our town centre, opening up premises and bringing greater vibrancy and activity to our towns. It is also a wonderful opportunity to give enterprising local people an opportunity to create new businesses and test out their ideas in a real and ready made market place. I look forward to seeing the initiative thrive over the coming months.”

The initiative will be rolled out across other properties in Lurgan. It will also be launched in Portadown with the Council working closely with Portadown Chamber of Commerce to launch a number of vacant Meanwhile Space properties in the town centre.

This project is just one of many implemented by Council to develop the Borough’s town centres including Public Realm which has brought renewal to the town’s streetscape, Lurgan Restore which will bring improvements to shop frontages and ongoing promotional activity and town centre events to enliven Craigavon’s visitor experience.

For further information please contact Economic Development Officer, Ciaran Tipping, on 028 3831 3602 or email ciaran.tipping@craigavon.gov.uk