Cllr David Taylor, Deputy Mayor, Newry and Mourne District Council and Nelson McCausland, Social Development Minister on site to check the progress of the Newry Canal Regeneration scheme. Photograph: Columba O'HareSocial Development Minister Nelson McCausland was on site at Newry Canal today along with the Deputy Mayor of Newry and Mourne David Taylor to formally mark the start of major regeneration works to the City Centre asset.

Visiting the site of the planned regeneration works, Minister McCausland said: “Newry quays have a proud sea merchant history and this major investment will transform this area of the city centre, complementing the recently completed schemes in Hill Street and Monaghan Street. Once finished the historic Merchant’s Quay part of the city will be seamlessly connected with other public realm schemes, providing a consistent appearance and streetscape.

“It is timely that the unique and valuable asset that is Newry’s canal façade was given this much needed facelift and restored to its proper place as the jewel in the city’s public realm areas.”

The environmental improvement works will greatly enhance the city centre by upgrading the Merchants Quay area to maximise the tourism potential of the two waterways that flow through the heart of the city centre. 

The Minister added: “In the current economic climate this scheme will also help to provide much needed employment for the local construction industry. This work will also help to reinvigorate the historical heart of the city, improve trading conditions and encourage private sector investment. 

Pictured at the launch of the £2.5M regeneration work at Newry Canal. From left: Nelson McCausland, Social Development Minister; David Taylor, Deputy Mayor, Newry and Mourne District Council; Orla Jackson, Chief Executive Newry Chamber of Commerce; Cllr John McArdle; Cllr Charlie Casey; Jack Murphy, Chairman, Newry City Centre Management and Norman Lamb, Earney Contracts Ltd. Photograph: Columba O'Hare“This scheme highlights my Department’s continuing commitment to regeneration, supporting local businesses and encouraging further investment in Newry City.”

Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, Councillor Michael Ruane in welcoming the scheme added: “This project will bring about a much needed investment along the banks of Newry’s Historic Canal Waterways and greatly add to the overall public realm improvements within the city.”

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