Alliance representative Jackie Coade has said that while the Newry City Regeneration Programme will enhance the area, it must take on board the growing local concerns for the outcome of the project.
Speaking as plans for new Civic Centre continued, Jackie said the Alliance Party would continue to support plans to prioritise the park and which potentially see plans for revival of an older building, rather than creating a new Civic Centre.
She said: “The Council must deliver for the people of Newry, and follow through on a number of proposals already underway.
“The Albert Basin Park Project for example – championed by Councillor Patrick Brown – which has already seen significant funding earmarked for completion. Green spaces have been essential for so many during the on-going pandemic and it is essential this project moves forward at speed.
“But while it is good news for those campaigning for the park, the streamlined version of what has been planned for Newry disappointingly impacts the growing arts sector. Newry has a long and rich history of outstanding local theatre and are deserving of facilities to continue providing those opportunities.
“With a number of growing questions remaining regarding future plans for the civic centre, the Council needs to communicate better with local people, rather than allowing the idea that continuous consultations will be forthcoming until the desired outcome is achieved to fester.
“The people of Newry firmly reject this approach and so do the Alliance Party. Newry deserves better.”