CRAIGAVON has been given a significant boost with a financial ‘windfall’ of over £9.4 million.
The borough council has attracted and secured the vital funding which aims to bring fundamental and beneficial change to Portadown, Lurgan and central Craigavon.
This funding will also enable various high profile projects to take place across the area in the months and years ahead.
The funding has been secured through a number of bodies including the EU Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme, European Social Fund, Peace III and government departments. to name but a few, and will help Craigavon develop, grow and thrive, leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.
Projects which have obtained substantial financial support include the SPACE (Shared Process and Community Engagement) Project which recently secured £6.4m from SEUPB to carry out a complete refurbishment of the People’s Park in Portadown with high quality landscape, signage and lighting improvements - opening up views and access for everyone.
It is hoped the project will bring significant investment to the local area and benefits will include developing a high quality area for residents, visitors and tourists to enjoy, upgraded sporting facilities, create further space for significant events to occur thus promoting the borough on a regional basis and increase footfall to the town bringing significant benefits for local businesses. It can be regarded as a further boost to the many regeneration initiatives which are ongoing within the area.
The Active Travel Demonstration Project recently obtained £1.3m funding from DRD which will revitalise Craigavon’s walking and cycle network along an approximate eight mile central spine, linking two main train stations, numerous schools, a hospital, shopping centres, industrial estates, leisure facilities and places of work.
In addition almost £500,000 has been secured to refurbish existing play areas in Neighbourhood Renewal areas across the Borough, £360,000 for the Cleaner Green Neighbourhood project and over £130,000 for the Rethink Waste Recycling Projects. There has also been over £97,000 obtained for the Craigavon Angling Project and £150,000 for the Portadown Revitalistation Project.
Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Carla Lockhart, said: “Craigavon is a stand out location and a place of choice to live, work, invest and do business. This is due to its key road and rail infrastructure, large land bank ready and available for industrial use, world-class telecommunications infrastructure, dynamic workforce and top pharmaceutical, life science and food businesses.
“The funding council has recently secured is a fantastic boost to the area and will enable a wide range of dynamic and forward thinking projects to proceed, bringing huge benefits to Craigavon and its residents. The projects listed above are only a taster of projects which have attracted funding - others include the Priority Youth Intervention project, Meanwhile Space and Town Centre Regeneration Schemes, Pest Control and Energy Efficiency Projects.
“These projects will help improve the lives of local people, attract and encourage visitors and tourists to the area, transform our town centres and surrounding areas, help local businesses grow and thrive, continue our excellent rate or recycling and bring the Borough bang up to date.”
“Council has also committed £25m to design and develop a fantastic new leisure centre at Craigavon Lakes. The new leisure centre will be one of the largest in Northern Ireland and will replace the existing centres at Cascades, Waves and Craigavon Leisure Centre. We have started the process of appointing a design team for the new centre and it will be an excellent new addition to the Borough.”