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Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has outlined the next stage of its Newry City Centre Regeneration (NCCR) plans now that the online public consultation survey has drawn to a close.

The Council have also published a list of questions and answers relating to the Albert Basin Park part of the regeneration proposals and also the office acccommodation fund element which they say is integral to reenergising Newry City Centre for the benefit of both residents and the business community.

In a graphic the council say "The Albert Basin is central to Council’s vision for the regeneration of Newry City Centre. Providing a world class city park for attracting investment, promoting tourism, creating jobs and sustaining our environment, it also aims to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of our citizens. Key also to the regeneration of Newry City Centre is a fund to promote the delivery of office accommodation to help attract further investment and job creation."

Speaking on behalf of the Newry City Centre Regeneration (NCCR) Board, Co-Chairpersons, Councillors Roisin Mulgrew and Pete Byrne thanked everyone who took the time to engage. 

In a joint statement they said, “We would like to thank everyone who took part in the online survey. We’ve received a lot of feedback and the independent consultation facilitator will work over the coming months to collate feedback and consider the responses received. They will then present their findings through the project and Council governance structures. 

“We want to highlight that although the online public survey element of the outline business case consultation has ended, the Council will continue to consult with stakeholders as the various regeneration projects develop.

The next series of Questions and Answers will relate to the Civic and Regional Hub aspect of the project. The Council continues to invite questions for consideration and these can be sent to:

Questions and Answers

Q What is happening now with the Albert Basin Park project?
A The Council undertook an independent public consultation
in 2020 to identify the requirements of an initial concept design for the proposed 15-acre Albert Basin City Park in Newry. Since then the Council has engaged a consultant team who are considering the consultation feedback and preparing an initial design concept for the park.

Q When will the design concept for the Albert Basin Park be ready?
A The consultant team is currently working on the design concept and are planning to have it ready to present to the Council this summer. We’re excited to see their ideas for bringing the 15-acre park to life.

Q What can we expect to see included in the design concept?
A The consultant team is preparing the design concept based on the 2020 public consultation. Key findings and themes include Green Space, Woodlands, Play and Physical Recreation. The results of the public consultation can be found on the Council’s website: albert-basin-15-acre-city-park

Q What’s the next step after the design concept is prepared?
A The consultant team is also reviewing existing surveys and investigations on the Albert Basin site and assessing statutory requirements to identify the technical challenges to be overcome to deliver the design concept. Once we have
the design concept and the consultant report, the Council will be in a better position to inform the public of the next steps.

Q How will the Albert Basin Park be funded?
A It is anticipated the Albert Basin Park will be funded by a combination of Council funding, and funding secured through a range of local, regional, UK and EU funding programmes. The Council is already considering some potential funding sources. A business case is a key requirement in preparing funding applications, so the consultant report will also allow us to work towards developing the business case for the Albert Basin Park.

Q Newry has plenty of offices. Why does it need more?
A Research on Newry’s office market indicates that Newry lacks office accommodation of appropriate size in the city core. All cities need office space to house growing local companies, to create jobs and opportunities, and to attract new investors to Newry. We want this opportunity for Newry.

Q But why is the Council investing in office accommodation?
A The Council is not investing directly, we want to use Department for Communities funding, via the Belfast Region City Deal, to create a fund that encourages the private sector to invest and deliver office accommodation in Newry. We want the office fund to unlock private sector investment.

 Newry City Centre Regeneration Programme Board Elected Members

Cllr Roisin Mulgrew SF (Co-Chair)

Cllr Pete Byrne SDLP (Co-Chair)

Cllr Charlie Casey SF

Cllr Gary Stokes SDLP

Cllr Gavin Malone Independent

Cllr David Taylor UUP

Cllr William Walker DUP

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