Final touches being put to plan for Downpatrick improvements

Final touches being put to plan for Downpatrick improvements

14 February 2024

PLANS are being finalised for the next stage of a £220,000 scheme to revitalise Church Street and De Courcey Place in Downpatrick.

The Department for Communities scheme is designed to regenerate both areas which, over recent years, have missed on central government funding.

A meeting involving Newry, Mourne and Down Council officials and business community representatives was held last week to discuss progress with an update due to be provided next month.

It’s understood that options for De Courcey Place new seating and lighting and the provision of additional planters.

Downpatrick councillors Oonagh Hanlon and Philip Campbell are pleased the local authority and government department are investing in Downpatrick.

They said that to date, new bus shelters have been provided in Church Street, in tandem with a mural of Downpatrick rock band Ash and various shop front improvements.

“This work has helped improve the gateway entrance to the town centre but there is scope for much more,” said Cllr Hanlon.

Cllr Campbell, who has been involved with the Church Street project for a number years, explained the next phase is based around feedback from businesses and other stakeholders and he looks forward to seeing their recommendations implemented in the revitalisation scheme.

Significant investment has been pumped into Market Street, Irish Street and Scotch Street over recent years, with Church Street the poor relation when it came to so-called public realm schemes.

But that has changed and in addition to Church Street and De Courcey Place, the government department is already heavily involved in the regeneration of the former police base at Irish Street in the town.

A steering group is overseeing the how the revitalisation cash will be spent in Church Street, while in De Courcey Place, a number of heritage-style lamps and signposts, could potentially be replaced.

Local politicians say the revitalisation scheme provides a platform on which to build for the future and hope that business and property owners will be encouraged to spend some of their own money on their respective properties to make them even better.