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Facelift For Town Centre On The Way

20/09/2011
 



A Multi million pound scheme to give Dungannon town centre a much needed facelift is due to get underway within a matter of months, the Courier can reveal.

The £2 million Public Realm Scheme for the town was first announced in March 2008 with work due to commence in October 2010.

However, the scheme was put on hold last year as a result of a moratorium on capital projects within Department for Social Development (DSD) as a result of the economic recession.

In December last a cross-party delegation from Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council met with the Department of Economic Development Minister to lobby for the commencement of the Public Realm Scheme, designed to improve and renew the town centre.

In January of this year, the Courier reported that the lobbying exercise by Dungannon Council, supported by Dungannon Regeneration Partnership and Town Traders' Association, appeared to have been successful, with the town scheme included in part of the Department's budget submissions to the NI Assembly.

The Courier understands that the Public Realm Scheme has been due to start before Christmas, however, it has been decided to hold off until early next year.

Dungannon is a busy shopping centre throughout the year and particularly in the run up to Hallowe'en and Christmas and it was felt that roadworks in the centre of the town at t his time would have inconvenienced the town's traders and businesses.

The Courier has learned that the local Borough Council plans to appoint a contractor in December with work commencing on site in February 2012. The Department for Social Development (DSD) is the core funder for the scheme centred around Market Square, Irish Street and Church Street.

The project is being delivered through the DSD's Public Realm Programme, which has funded schemes in Omagh, Cookstown, Portadown and Armagh.

The main objectives of the Dungannon Public Realm Scheme are to:

- Create a safe, high quality pedestrian friendly environment.
- Create an improved space for markets and events.
- Be accessible to pedestrians and vehicles.
- Have a free flowing traffic and retain most on street car parking.

Under the Scheme, Market Square will be a focal point for civic events and the weekly flower market.

The Public Realm Scheme will revitalise and reinvigorate the town whilst being designed in such a way to complement and enhance the Council's separate development of Ranfurly House and Castle Hill as an environmental heritage site.

The works will include the provision of new footway and roadway surfaces with new stone kerbing.

New street furniture, tree planting and lighting will all be put in place - in compliance and co-operation with the DRD Roads Service and to current DDA standards.

Disruption to the existing residential properties and business premises during the works will be considered in the planning of the works, minimising the effect on their daily operation as much as possible.

Source: Tyrone Borough
Date: Wednesday 21st September 2011

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