Attwood launches Carrickfergus Town Centre Masterplan

Attwood launches Carrickfergus Town Centre Masterplan

07 July 2010

Social Development Minister Alex Attwood today unveiled a new town centre masterplan for Carrickfergus. The masterplan provides a guide on the future regeneration and development potential of the town centre.

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The main aims of the plan include revitalising the town centre as a location for shops, offices, restaurants and community facilities; improving the quality of the built environment and building greater links between the historic town centre, the castle and the waterfront areas.

Alex Attwood said: “The Carrickfergus masterplan shows how this historic town can be regenerated into a more prosperous area. The plans are forward thinking and ambitious. Everyone can work together in partnership to take them forward to implementation.”

The main proposals in the masterplan include:

  • new esplanade civic space, a landmark Arts and Visitors Centre and improved access to the Castle;
  • new waterfront development and enhancements in the harbour area including a sailing centre with improved boat yard facilities;
  • developing vacant and derelict town centre properties;
  • redesigning the Marine Gardens and reducing the width of the Marine Highway; and
  • high quality improvements to the public realm in the walled town area and conservation/access to the town wall.

Minister Attwood continued: “The masterplan provides a clear strategy for the physical, economic and social transformation of Carrickfergus town centre.  There are some challenging aspirations which will require significant effort and co-operation by all stakeholders to both fund and implement.  I look forward to seeing real progress in delivering these initiatives so that everyone will benefit from the transformation of the town.”

The newly elected Mayor of Carrickfergus, Alderman Jim McClurg, said: “The Carrickfergus Masterplan represents the views and aspirations of the whole community.  We are delighted that so many people contributed their thoughts and ideas, and look forward to delivering on the projects outlined in the plan.  We’d like to thank the Minister and DSD for supporting all of us in Carrickfergus to build on our many strengths and prepare our town for future”

The Chairman of Carrickfergus Development Company, Jack Creighton also commented, saying: “We have a plan: now let’s make it happen.  We must all work together creatively and with integrity to redevelop our beautiful Carrickfergus in all its historic glory, the business community is fully committed to this process and looks to the challenges ahead.”

The masterplan was commissioned by the Department for Social Development (DSD) in conjunction with Carrickfergus Borough Council and Carrickfergus Development Company.  It is available on the DSD website: www.dsdni.gov.uk or Carrickfergus Borough Council: www.carrickfergus.org

Notes to editors:

1. The Paul Hogarth Company, Urban Design Consultants, was appointed by DSD in January 2009 to prepare the masterplan.

2. A public consultation setting out the draft masterplan to regenerate the town centre was held from September 2009 and extended into January 2010 to include several changes as a basis for a preferred option.  This preferred option was subsequently identified and forms the basis of the final masterplan, which was endorsed by Carrickfergus Borough Council in April 2010.

3. News Media enquiries to DSD Information Office on 028 90829078/07970 976894.  Out of office please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.