Christmas windfall for council will brighten Downpatrick streets

Christmas windfall for council will brighten Downpatrick streets

23 November 2011 - by DAVID TELFORD

CHRISTMAS in Downpatrick this year promises to be brighter than ever.

As the town prepares for the festive season, it has been confirmed the town is to benefit from a £150,000 investment from the Department for Social Development.

The cash has been made available under the ReStore programme and is designed to finance a range of initiatives over the next two years to help local businesses.

One of the immediate benefits will be the purchase of new festive lighting and the biggest Christmas tree ever seen in Downpatrick.

New state-of-the-art festive lights will feature in St. Patrick’s Square and along the town’s main streets, with a 12-metre high Christmas tree taking centre stage in St. Patrick’s Square.

Down Council chairman Dermot Curran said all the stops have been pulled out to create a bright new beginning for Downpatrick this Christmas.

He said the local authority and the ReStore programme have worked hard to ready the town for the official switching on of the Christmas lights on December 1.

“The ceremony marks the start of the festive season in Downpatrick and this year we’re making it as vibrant as possible. I’m especially pleased with the new sustainable tree which will become a regular sight in Downpatrick for many Christmases to come.

“I am also delighted with the town centre’s new look. Not only have the recent changes provided Downpatrick with a fresh, modern and contemporary appearance, but I’m confident this regeneration will encourage visitors to the town.”

Councillor Curran said Downpatrick has a great deal to offer, with Down Council continuing to work with its businesses and community partners to ensure a fantastic atmosphere for local people and visitors and to continue providing a great Christmas shopping experience.

A traditional Christmas tree and lighting scheme will also be switched on at Down Cathedral along with festive lighting at The Mall.

The switching on ceremony on Thursday, December 1, is scheduled to start at 6.30pm with goody bags for children.