Plans advance for City Park in Newry as council agrees outline business case

AN outline business case has been agreed 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 full meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council next momth, 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 as part of the Executive’s City/Growth Deal 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.

Newry City Centre Regeneration Programme Board co-chairs councillors Roisin Mulgrew and Gary Stokes said: “This is an important milestone for the park project, with the outline business case receiving unanimous support at both our board and the council’s strategy, policy and resources 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.”

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