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Businesses back projects which could transform Newry

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

THREE projects set to transform Newry have been given the thumbs up by local businesses.

The Southern Relief Road, Newry City Park and the new Civic Centre are those projects.

The bypass road is one of the Belfast City Deal projects which will provide an alternative route for strategic traffic which avoids Newry City centre. It has been in consultation on a preferred route.

The aim is to have the Civic Centre and Arts venue open for 2021. The procurement strategy for the centre will be completed within the next two months.

As regards Newry City Park, a group is being established by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDCC) and a range of key stakeholders to commence work on proposals for its development at the Albert Basin site which will provide green space in the centre of the city.

It is believed to be the first time that the council has recognised the Albert Basin park as a 'key project'.

In addition to these, Newry Tech Nation conference is set for October and will showcase the vibrant technology community in the district.

Clare Guinness, Chief Executive of Warrenpoint Harbour stressed the importance of good public amenities to the port.

"Warrenpoint Port is Northern Ireland's second biggest port facilitating global trade," she said.

"Effective infrastructure is vital to our continued growth and the economic development of the region. We welcome the progress on the Southern Relief Road, a vital infrastructure project for the district which will improve access to the port and help Northern Ireland compete on a global basis.

"It will reduce congestion, speed up the supply chain, open up the eastern side of Newry to potential industrial development. This is an essential project for the district, and for Northern Ireland. The other projects are also a sign of the continue rejuvenation of the district and will help it become an even better place to work and live."

Adrian Toner, Chief Operating Officer at First Derivatives, added: "As one of the largest employers on the island of Ireland, investment is key to attracting and retaining the talent which drives our business.

"First Derivatives believes these economic initiatives are important to support the future growth of Newry City as well as companies like ours to sustain growth and job creation in Newry.

"We would encourage the council to continue to make Newry a vibrant, engaged and attractive city for businesses to locate and grow. From our perspective, it cannot happen quickly enough as we continue to target talent to come and work in our Newry office."

Meanwhile, Chief Executive of NMDDC, Liam Hannaway said: "These projects are an essential part of the future of Newry and the surrounding district. They reinforce Newry as a gateway between the north and south, regenerate the city centre, improve the city's cultural and conferencing offering and will boost civic pride in the city."

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