“It is important that the people of Newry, Mourne and Down district are confident that the decisions made concerning the regeneration of Newry City Centre, as well as other key projects such as the Albert Basin 15-Acre City Park, will deliver for the people and the city of Newry.
“Significant regeneration of this scale is always challenging but Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is committed to delivering the best, most sustainable outcome for the City and wider district and one which will benefit future generations.
“This is an exciting time in the regeneration project process with the next chapter of the journey now beginning. The report from the public consultation is an important tool which will inform our next steps and we will work collaboratively to address all the recommendations contained in the consultation report – including continuous engagement with city and religious leaders. This will also include the continuation of the plans already in place to progress the Albert Basin 15-Acre City Park and create a sustainable space for people to enjoy. We also plan to increase visibility of engagement and communications – ensuring that the people of the district and beyond are kept updated on the progress of all important regeneration plans for the city.
“Finally, to enhance that commitment of collaboration, we have agreed to establish a Working Group to consider the consultation report further and to consider how the Council should respond to comments, including how it will report back to the Programme Board. The Working Group will include representatives from our Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism Directorate, Community Relations Team, Planning Team, as well as the Departments for Communities and Infrastructure.
“Our focus is to work collaboratively to ensure plans are not delayed or investment halted. If anything, as we emerge from this global pandemic, we must be prepared to accelerate plans for the future growth of Newry City Centre.
“The regeneration of the City will drive employment and skills opportunities, position the City as open for business and investment, deliver social impact and help the City attract further investment alongside the publicly funded investment.
“We must focus on investing in our City, so we can attract global foreign direct investment, support the strong pipeline of local indigenous businesses and retain as many of our young people as possible, giving them the opportunity to live and work in their local district.”