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Phased Basin proposed

Following the unveiling of the Newry Docker sculpture and the completion of the Canal bank public realm scheme, Newry Maritime Association is planning on focussing its attention on the future of the Albert Basin. The pressure group which has worked in partnership with Newry and Mourne District Council and community groups on a number of recent maritime developments is now setting its sights on the 15 acre city centre site. According to group spokesman James McArevey, “We are going to focus on the Basin now. The Newry 2020 group is already doing a lot of good work putting forward ideas. The Council has also started clearing the middle bank area for a cycle trail and walk way. On the other side of the Basin Dromalane Community Association have lodged a planning application for a centre that will tie in with water based sports and provide a buy in for the wider community.” Given the financial constraints that are likely to accompany any developments at the Basin Mr McArevey has proposed that a phased approach be taken. “We would like to see a mix of social and recreational facilities in the Basin but for us a maritime centre would be must,” he said. “There are economic constraints but if you start with the cycle/walk way then maybe deliver a skateboarding facility you can work from there. “These are low cost but will bring a volume of people in. After that we can see where we are. We also want to recognise the history of the area and hope to erect signage marking ‘O’Rourkes Coal’ in the area.”