Almost half a million pounds will be given to revitalise three county Armagh town centres this year.
Communities Minister, Paul Givan, has announced funding of £435,000 for projects to revitalise areas within Craigavon, Lurgan and Portadown town centres.
The Northern Ireland Executive, through the Department for Communities, is investing approximately £300,000 in this project with the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council investing a further £135,000.
Craigavon will see improvements to linkages between the business, retail and leisure areas whilst at the same time making the Lakeview Road bridge more welcoming, attractive and safe for all users.
Lurgan town centre will benefit from a facelift to vacant properties, a bespoke music festival and a marketing campaign to promote the town which included the delivery of two successful themed Christmas markets.
Portadown will see improved signage, themed markets, including the recent Christmas market, business mentoring and a range of events to promote the evening economy. This will further complement the £2.68million already announced for a public realm scheme which is due to begin in Portadown in spring 2017.
Minister Givan stated: “This injection of funding is a welcome boost for our traders and will help to support these three areas to develop and grow. Initiatives such as these, in collaboration with local councils, help to make our town centres more appealing and sustain our local economy all of which contributes to the long term viability and prosperity of such towns.”
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Council, Councillor Garath Keating commented: “This finance makes a real difference to the towns. We’ve just enjoyed Christmas markets in both Portadown and Lurgan. They are a real success from both a business and social perspective. They get friends and family together and bring business into the towns. The Council is delighted to partner with the Department for Communities in this venture.”