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Further facelift for Newry city centre

Newry city centre is set for a £440k revitalisation project that will include major improvements to shop fronts and a new marketing and branding campaign to attract shoppers and new businesses the city. The scheme was announced by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland when he visited Newry on Thursday  to officially launch the recently completed £2m Public Realm Scheme on Hill Street and Monaghan Street. The minister praised the scheme and spoke about a “vibrancy and buzz” around the city centre since its completion but he did acknowledge the number of closed shops and empty stores. He told the Democrat that he hoped the investment in the city centre would attract new businesses to the city: “The issue of empty shops is one that is occurring right across the UK and Northern Ireland is no exception. We need to put a particular focus on the town centres. We can do a certain amount from a government perspective in terms of the public realm works, the restoring of the shops and the improving of the environment and that does encourage the private sector to invest. There is clear evidence from the  work we have done in other places that when you do public realm work and make the place more welcoming you do get a significant increase in the number of people coming in and ultimately where there are people there will be traders. If people are coming in and there is money to be spent people will open businesses.” The DUP MLA then confirmed that the city centre was set for a major regeneration scheme with £438k earmarked for a revitalisation project on Monaghan Street and Hill Street. It will include improving shop frontages and a new marketing campaign to attract shoppers and investors to the city. Pledging £300k from his DSD department and a personal commitment to revitalising Newry he added: “It is important that our high streets are places where people want to relax and spend time in. I am delighted to announce funding towards this new scheme which will play a significant role in the further regeneration of Hill Street and Monaghan Street.” Nwery and Mourne Council will provide £50k towards the new scheme while traders have pledged £89k. Jack Murphy chairman of Newry City Management is pleased to be part of the team that implemented the scheme and are very pleased with the result. “We would encourage everyone now to enjoy the improvements and the shopping experience in Newry City centre.


Newry Democrat

11th September 2012