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Thirty-five city centre properties to be restored and brought back for productive use

Market Street, Armagh today

Thirty-five decaying properties stretching between English Street and Barrack Street will be brought back into productive use – with restaurants, cafes and pubs expected among the future outlets planned.

The work is to be carried out thanks to a Townscape Heritage grant of close to £2 million.

And a further bid for money is expected to be made next month to allow the scheme to be extended.

The outcome of this application should be known by June of this year.

The project, which has seen much work going on in the background over the past year since the grant was confirmed, will see the redevelopment carried out over the next four years.

There has been much criticism of the level of empty units in the city centre and the rundown appearance of many vacant shops.

This scheme will aim to remedy that.

A portfolio of 35 properties has been identified to date.

The cash award will see the “restoration of key buildings of architectural and heritage merit”.

The will achieve the “aim of bringing them back into viable economic and social usages”.

And among those possible usages – councillors have been told – are “residential, commercial office and retail and hospitality uses to include restaurants, cafes and bars”.

The work covers two zones within the City’s Conservation Area which have been identified for investment – Market Street and Upper English Street, alongside Barrack Street and Scotch Street – and all 35 properties fall within these streets.

Councillors have also been informed there is an opportunity to improve the ‘sense of welcome’ to the important historical city of Armagh at key approaches, which currently is limited.

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