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 Newry’s public realm scheme plans had a boost this week with the announcement that local company Stakeholder Communications has been appointed to oversee a marketing strategy for the project by Newry and Mourne District Council and Newry Revitalisation Committee with finance being provided by DSD.

 The scheme which includes branding, street signage, photography and a new website will seek to complement the work currently being done to establish a modern, vibrant city centre and to drive footfall into the Hill Street and Monaghan Street areas.

This marketing project is part of an ongoing investment by DSD in the public realm works proposed in the draft Newry City Centre Masterplan.

Mayor Councillor John McArdle said, “A marketing boost for the newly named Cathedral and Creamery Quarters has come at the ideal time. With the current economic downturn continuing and January traditionally one of the most difficult months for retailers this project will offer a much needed energy boost into the heart of our city.

We are delighted to also announce that from this month there will be free WIFI access available on both these streets encouraging people to spend more time in the area while working online or finding out what there is to do in the locality.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Social Development said, “DSD has been working closely with Newry & Mourne District Council, Newry City Centre Management and local stakeholders to identify what is needed to help continue the development of Newry City Centre. At the launch of the first stage of the public realm scheme (a £2 million improvement for Hill Street and Monaghan Street) in September 2012 Minister McCausland pledged his support to continue to invest in Newry and this investment in marketing, events and improvements to the shops frontages on both these streets, confirms the Department’s commitment.”

Tom Kelly, Chief Executive of Stakeholder Communications said, “We are delighted to be involved in this project for revitalising Newry city centre particularly Hill Street and Monaghan Street. We have put together a team of people from the city or with links to the area who know Newry or live and work here. We are very keen to get people’s views and opinions and have set up an email address newry@stakeholdergroup.com where people can send through their ideas or they can post their comments on Facebook. We are currently working on a brand identity for the area and hope to be able to present this to the steering group and interested parties in the coming weeks.”