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Blueprint launched for ‘forward looking’ Newtownards centre

A blueprint for the future of Newtownards town centre to 2025 was launched this week.

The ‘Newtownards Master Plan’ sets out a vision for the town’s regeneration and development over the next 15 years and was created by the Department for Social Development in partnership with Ards Borough Council and a range of town centre traders and interest groups.

Among the key aims are the redevelopment of the Queen’s Hall site into a flagship library and cultural resource centre, the reinvigoration of Conway Square into a modern, well facilitated events and public space, and a new retail centre around High Street/Court Street.

Creating inspiring public art, symbolising the industrial legacy and creative local talents of Newtownards and the wider Ards Peninsula, together with modern streetscape and lighting, are also included in the plan.

So too are improvements for the flow of pedestrians and traffic, helping to provide attractive shared spaces, and to maximise opportunities for development within the town.

Mayor of Ards Councillor David Smyth, who officially launched the plan on Wednesday, commented: “The plan is forward looking, contemporary, unique and, most of all, achievable.

“We want to ensure Newtownards remains a competitive and vibrant town, to build on its strengths, and broaden its appeal to shoppers, visitors and investors alike.

“The key now is once again for all of us — council, central government, local businesses — to use our strengthened partnership to work to get the investment to convert these plans to reality.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the town and I look forward to seeing the developments unfold.’’

The Newtownards Master Plan is available on www.ards-council.gov.uk and www.shopnewtownards.com.

For further information on the plan contact David Birch, regeneration officer at Ards Borough Council on telephone 9182 4026.

Belfast Telegraph