The new look town centre. INLM3111-818con
The new look town centre. INLM3111-818con

THE town centre has been given a £2million boost with the announcement of funding for the second phase of the public realm works.

As revealed by the ‘MAIL’ earlier this year High Street and William Street are to benefit from the extension of the public realm works.

And it’s only the start of the good news with the council, town centre manager and Lurgan Chamber of Commerce all working hard to restore the town to its former glory.

The Chamber of Commerce is holding a meeting on Monday evening to launch a new website for the town and update members on progress regarding the rates, taxi ranks and parking in the town. The meeting will also hear a presentation from the British Heart Foundation on upcoming events as part of borough’s role as a Heart Town.

As part of this, local sporting clubs have also been invited to the meeting to hear how they can participate.

Local MLAs, councillors and the Mayor have also been invited to attend the meeting which starts in the Emmanuel Centre Foyer, Castle Lane at 5.45pm.

On the issue of the public realm works funding of almost £2million has been secured by Craigavon Borough Council to complete the second phase of the innovative scheme, which will build on the success of the earlier phase and develop more pedestrian friendly pavements and attractive open spaces – bringing the town bang up to date.

Phase I of the works is almost complete with Church Place and Market Street transformed with expansive new public space, high quality paving, vibrant street lighting, cutting-edge street furniture and towering trees.

Streets included in Phase II are Market Street (from Carnegie Street/Castle Lane), High Street (to Malcolm Road), North side of Edward Street (to Shankill Street) and William Street (to Charles Street).

A Project Management Team will manage the Project on behalf of Council and is due to be appointed in Autumn 2011. Consequently a contractor will be appointed with the innovative works commencing in Spring 2012. The Contractor will be responsible for all the work and will liaise directly with all affected stakeholders. It is anticipated the work will be completed in Spring 2013.

Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Alan Carson described the funding and works as: “A great day for Lurgan,” adding “I know this will please the traders and businesses who have submitted a petition seeking the extension of the scheme throughout the town”.

Chair of Development, Councillor Carla Lockhart, added: “Phase II is certainly a cause for celebration. The extension of the works will help put Lurgan on the map as a place to shop, visit and enjoy.”

The final lay out of the streets, including parking spaces, will be configured through a detailed design process in partnership with DRD Roads Service. During this process, the project teams will engage with stakeholders throughout the town, keeping them up to date with progress and securing their views.

As with any project of this nature there will be some disruption in town, however, the Project Managers and Contractors will be working closely with DRD Roads Service to help keep this to a minimum and the result will be a wonderful up to date modernised town which will be the envy of other towns throughout Northern Ireland. In addition, if more funding becomes available other streets may be added and developed.

Simon Dowey from Lurgan Chamber of Commerce added: “This significant investment earmarked for the town will help to increase footfall that has been haemorrhaging over the past number of years and will help to create pride in the town.”

The Department for Social Development will provide £1.75m of funding for this project, with Council contributing £200,000. The project will be developed in partnership with DRD Roads Service.

For further information, please contact Development Manager Richard Griffin on 028 38 312 577 / email richard.griffin@craigavon.gov.uk or Regeneration & Economic Development Officer Sarah-Jane Macdonald on 028 38 312 572 /sarahjane.macdonald@craigavon.gov.uk