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Back on the agenda

Public realm schemes in Newry and Warrenpoint which failed to secure funding from the DSD in April look set to receive financial backing in the coming year according to Crotlieve Cllr Declan McAteer (SDLP). The multi-million pound schemes which will improve the appearance of Warrenpoint’s Church Street and Square areas in addition to the Library and Cathedral sections of Newry’s Hill Street were postponed in April. All the time Newry and Mourne’s Council’s Director of District Development Gerard McGivern said, “The economic appraisals were approved but DSD has confirmed that it is not in a position to deliver these schemes this year.” However with DSD set to transfer regeneration powers to the new super Councils next year, Cllr McAteer believes the projects will be first in line for a share of the estimated £4.9m the new Council will receive each year for regeneration programmes. “Warrenpoint Public Realm is now certain to get the £2.1m funding over two financial years commencing 2015/16,” he told the Reporter. “This was approved at the  Shadow Council meeting on Tuesday July 8. The Newry Cathedral Quarter Scheme will also benefit from the same £4.9m pot. In both cases revitalisation money will be available following completion.” Cllr McAteer believes that by increasing the level of local control on spending distribution more quality schemes can be progressed across the district. “What excites me about the devolution of this spend down to local council level  is the ability to decide for ourselves our own priorities. Given that the 4,000 population threshold requirement has been removed it follows that small villages and rural settlements will more easily access funds which previously were the preserve of large urban towns.”


Newry Reporter

16th July 2014