Masterplan to regenerate Limavady over the next 15 years has been unveiled by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland.
A 12-week period of public consultation on the proposed overhaul of the town’s infrastructure was today under way.
Key features of the multi-million plan include the development of new small scale shopping outlets and larger retail and commercial units.
It is also planned that four new town centre quarters will be created — with distinctive retail, civic, education and mixed-use sites.
Major improvements to public spaces, revamped pedestrian entries and easy access between the proposed town quarters are also on the cards.
The plan was commissioned by the Department for Social Development and Limavady Borough Council.
Speaking at the launch in the town, Mr McCausland said: “This is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in Limavady to consider the proposals detailed in the masterplan and have their say on how the town centre will be developed in the years ahead.
“The delivery of the masterplan core aims will help the town centre to recover from the recent economic downturn and put it in a better place to maximise investment opportunities when the economic climate improves.
“The opportunities identified in this masterplan for redevelopment and regeneration will assist with future marketing strategies to attract investors, traders, employers and visitors to Limavady.”
He strongly urged anyone with “interest in the town’s future to let us know what they think about these proposals over the next 12 weeks”.
The commission was undertaken by the RPS Group, who carried out a detailed analysis of local economic factors and consulted widely with a range of stakeholders.
A public exhibition of the emerging proposals was held in February 2011.
The mayor of Limavady, councillor Sean McGlinchey, welcomed the proposals.
He said: “This is an important first step in the development of the town's future, which is welcomed in these times of economic difficulty. This support is an endorsement of Limavady's future as an important regional town between north east and the north west.
“I hope that people will engage and give constructive feedback over the next few weeks as part of the consultation process.”
During his visit to Limavady this week, minister McCausland visited the town’s Market Street, where a £210,000 public realm scheme funded by his department is due to commence in January 2012.
He also visited the Backburn Path Linear Park to view improvements to the entrance and play area that have been funded through department’s Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund.