A blueprint for revitalising the centre of Lisburn has gone on public display.
The draft masterplan will be available for viewing in the city's library for the next six weeks to gauge public reaction.
The masterplan, drafted by a team led by GVA Grimley, aims to ensure that the city centre protects and capitalises upon its existing assets — its vibrant centre, its historic quarter and the Laganbank quarter. It is hoped to weave new developments into the existing fabric of the city to maximise benefits to residents, business sectors and visitors.
Welcoming the release of the draft masterplan, which was funded by her department, Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie said: “This is a great opportunity for the people of Lisburn to help shape the future of their city. I believe the masterplan provides us with an ambitious but realistic vision that will create an outward-looking, dynamic and liveable city sustaining a high quality of life for everyone. It will secure a strong and vibrant united city, making best use of its assets whilst protecting its ongoing success and prosperity. I would encourage everyone in Lisburn to give us their views on these plans for future development.”
She added: “Lisburn has an opportunity to become an inspiring city centre and act as a catalyst for urban regeneration in Northern Ireland. This masterplan will build on the work that is already ongoing and will help identify and promote further investment and development opportunities needed within the historic and Laganbank Quarters.
“It will also complement the council’s economic strategy for the wider city over the next decade and sustain Lisburn’s strong reputation as a major retail, social and cultural destination.
“It is important that people from Lisburn and the surrounding area take the opportunity to view the proposals and to comment on them. This will ensure the final document takes into account the views and opinions of the people who will be most directly affected — the residents and business people of Lisburn and its environs.”
The city's mayor, Councillor Allan Ewart, who is also chairman of Lisburn City Centre Management, said: “This is an important time for the people of Lisburn, giving them the opportunity to comment on the emerging proposals coming out of the study.
“Throughout the six-week period we would encourage all Lisburn residents and stakeholders to visit the display and provide their feedback so this can be considered in the final stages of development.
“The final masterplan and its recommendations will be used by the council and Lisburn City Centre Management to identify and promote further investment within the city centre.”