Anticipation growing for Castle Hill Scheme
Excitement is building ahead of the opening of the Arts and Heritage Centre and public park at Castle Hill.
It is getting down to the stage now where there are just weeks until the £4.5 million project will be finished, with a week of events taking place to mark its opening.
There will be a packed programme of activity in the week from 22-28 September and one person eagerly anticipating its opening is Dungannon Trader's Association chair Stephen Mohan.
"It's the biggest, thing Dungannon has had in my lifetime" he says. "There are a lot of benefits to be had from this and the views from up there are incredible." And the view from the top of the hiss is something Stephen has marvelled at. "The hill would make people proud of Dungannon again. When you get up there and see the views you'll be amazed. I think we are really lucky to have something like this."
Stephen believes that the whole area of Dungannon will benefit from the project, saying the town has so much to offer.
"I would judge Dungannon from when you come in from the motorway," he says, and you have got Donnelly's car dealership, the Linen Green, Dungannon Swifts, Dungannon Rugby Club and the hidden gem of Dungannon park before you get to the town. Then when you get in the town there's all the independent retailers.
Alan Burke, of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council, says the opening of the centre will have considerable knock-on effects for the rest of the town. "The Council are looking forward to the opportunities presented by the opening of Castle Hill in September. I think the Castle Hill project should provide sustainable employment in the local community and could attract additional businesses.
"There will be a big interest in the opening and it's a cast of building on it and letting it grow." Also looking forward to the opening, Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council Mayor Councillor Phelim Gildernew has agreed with the sentiments of Stephen Mohan.
"It's a great project, it's the best thing that has ever happened in Dungannon. It has to be a big boost because every town needs a flagship and I believe this can be it for Dungannon. On the week of the opening, there will be a series of events, including a concert by Nathan Carter, a fashion night, entitled Heels on the Hill, a concert by the Celtic Tenors and the Mid Ulster Business Awards.
And Alan Burke believes the scheme is further evidence of the strength of Dungannon. "Dungannon is punching well above well above its weight. There's a real good reason now for people who had never thought to visit Dungannon to explore the opportunities its affords. This is an opportunity to really put Dungannon on the map.
Source: Tyrone Courier