THE proposed City Park in Newry has cleared the first major hurdle on the way to becoming a major leisure space for generations to come.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s Strategy, Policy and Resources (SPR) Committee has agreed the outline business case for a City Park at Newry’s Albert Basin as part of plans to unlock funding of £16.2 million.
Subject to ratification at a meeting of full Council in June the outline business case will be submitted to the Department for Communities, enabling the Council to progress the appointment of a multi-disciplinary design team for the project.
The City Park will provide a destination leisure space for the residents of Newry and further afield, bringing new life to the historic waterside with its prime location along the new Carlingford Lough Greenway.
The outline business case has been developed to unlock the £16.2 million funding package announced by Finance Minister Conor Murphy in December 2021 as part of the Executive’s City/Growth Deal Complementary fund and will crucially see the first phase of the park taken forward.
The key priorities identified in the project’s public consultation will be a key focus for phase one, with the establishment of a play park, and green space, walking, cycling and running paths opening the site up for public access and links to the Greenway.
The outline business case will now undergo a rigorous review process undertaken by the Department for Communities, which will take several months to complete. The Council will be liaising with department officials during the review process to assist as required.
Co-chairs of the Newry City Centre Regeneration Programme Board, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew and Councillor Gary Stokes said, “This is an important milestone for the park project. The outline business case has received unanimous support at both the Programme Board and the Council’s SPR committee.
“We are committed to delivering a City Park for Newry and work continues to ensure approval of the outline business case and the appointment of a multi-disciplinary design team to take the project through detailed design, planning approval and delivery on site.
“Aside from its important role in our plans for the regeneration of Newry City Centre, a vibrant, attractive City Park will provide invaluable health and wellbeing benefits for the people of Newry. We look forward to bringing new life to this urban space in the heart of the city.”