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Major environmental improvement scheme expected along River Bann

Move follows completion of public realm and other town centre works

An environmental improvement scheme could be carried out around the River Bann in Portadown.

The move would follow on from the completion of public realm works in the town centre.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Coujncil has been leading the redevelopment in the area of the Bann under the umbrella of the ‘Riversides’ project.

The aim, councillors have been told, is to “improve the quality of primarily council-owned lands adjacent to the River Bann on the edge of Portadown town centre”.

A report to council’s regeneration committee explains: “The capital plan indicates a council contribution of £1.78m to deliver the Portadown Riversides project, the ultimate aim of which is to enhance the River Bann corridor, which is a major leisure and recreation asset for the town which has become increasingly tired in recent years.”

The Old Town Quay Phase 1 has been completed and the Pump House has been refurbished and is now trading as Ground Espresso Bar.

The report says the “quality of Portadown’s riverfront is gradually improving, while further works to the derelict structures at Foundry Street will also remove a longstanding blight on the area”.

Council officers, in their progress report to committee, spell out the potential for further enhancements.

“Given the extent of council owned land along the Bann there is an opportunity to deliver a programme of environmental improvements that will raise the quality of the area to a level consistent with the public realm scheme within the town centre, the People’s Park, and the Portadown Linkages scheme, which has upgraded a number of key routes between the town centre and the river corridor,” their report adds.

In order to progress the scheme, moves to appoint an integrated consultant team to fully develop design information and carry out an economic appraisal are underway.

This appointment will be phased to allow council to seek extra funding before giving a firm commitment to the construction phase.

A visual presentation on what is proposed will be given to February’s meeting of the economic development and regeneration committee.

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