CRAIGAVON Borough Council has given its full backing to plans by the Department of Social Development to create a retail development at Marlborough House.
The complex is owned by the Department for Finance & Personnel and currently occupied by staff from various government departments.
The announcement to create a “traditional town centre” by introducing a retail development in Craigavon was made this week by DSD Minister Nelson McCausland.
The Minister is due to visit the borough today (Thursday) when he is expected to reveal further details about the project, which the department insists is consistent with the aims of the Craigavon Integrated Development Framework.
Mr McCausland said: “The redevelopment will benefit the future development of Central Craigavon by helping to create a more traditional town centre, whilst retaining existing office jobs in the vicinity.”
Consultants appointed by the DSD oversee the redevelopment will follow an agreed terms of reference to scope out the viability of the redevelopment of the site, which could be a potential mixed-use site for retail and other commercial uses.
Mr McCausland continued: “In these stringent economic times, it is essential that we explore all avenues to create jobs and bolster our employment prospects. If we are successful in redeveloping this important site, not only will it create modern office facilities, but it will also mean extra jobs during the construction period and the prospect of the creation of new retail and office jobs in the future. ”
Various government departments which are based at Marlborough House include: DOE Planning Service, DRD Roads Service, HMRC, Land & Property Services and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. DFP is working closely with DSD to take forward this potential major redevelopment.
A spokeswoman for Craigavon council told the Mail: “It is pleasing that Nelson McCausland Minister for Social Development acknowledges the aims of the Craigavon Integrated Development Framework which is essentially a strategic framework developed in partnership by DSD and council.
“Council welcomes being engaged with the consultation exercise in relation to the proposals and the surrounding area.”
What do you think? Text your views to 84555, starting your message with LMCOMMENT, then a space.