An exhibition on the US Army’s presence in Lurgan has been given a massive financial boost.
It’s been revealed that £100,000 is to be spent on a new tourist attraction based at Brownlow House.
DUP Councillor Carla Lockhart said it was her party who helped in securing the £100,000 for a permanent exhibition on the USA Army residency in Brownlow House and the surrounding area during the World War II era.
It’s come about as a direct result of the reserves spend by Craigavon Borough Council owing to its dissolution as an entity in the coming weeks.
Ms Lockhart said: “When looking at the legacy I wanted Craigavon Borough Council to leave I wanted to ensure that Brownlow House featured and that its tourist potential within the area and further afield would be realised as a direct result of council’s input.
“Tourism is a key driver for economic growth and the potential which Brownlow House possess I believe needs further explored and invested in by local and central authorities.
“We see in Belfast the investment in the Titanic Quarter and this has inspired me to fight tooth and nail to see Brownlow House become a tourism mecca within the Craigavon and indeed the new ABC Council area.”
Planned for the House is a refurbishment of the old basement which was utilised by Allied forces and in January 1942 it served as headquarters for the V (US) Army Corp followed in September 1943 by the XV (US) Army Corp under the command of General George Patton.
It is also well documented and widely known that General Dwight D Eisenhower stayed overnight in Brownlow House during this period.
Mr David Martin, Chairman of Friends of Brownlow House speaking on the issue said: “This is a win for Brownlow House.
“It is vitally important that we capture the historic value of the house and showcase the remarkable role that it has played in the fabric of Lurgan.
“This £100,000 spend will go a long way to further regenerating and utilising the Castle. It will assist in telling the stories of yesteryears and will act as a catalyst for further funding opportunities. I would like to thank Craigavon Council for their contribution and look forward to seeing the finished product. I am delighted that we had councillors with foresight to undertake this fantastic project.”