Belfast Telegraph

Have your say on future of Newtownards: Ritchie

By Michael Bashford

Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie has called on the people of Newtownards to have their say on the redevelopment of the town centre.

Minister Ritchie was in Newtownards last week to view draft masterplan proposals on display in the Town Hall, Conway Square.

The masterplan identifies the key town centre sites for regeneration along with suggested timings for works over the next 20 years. Proposals include:

  • Creating a new retail centre around High Street/Court Street to meet the needs of the independent retailers and provide new shop units;
  • Improving the public spaces in order to reinvigorate the streets; making them more pedestrian and cycle friendly; and
  • The redesign of Conway Square into a focal point and meeting place for Newtownards, allowing the square to act as a location for events and the weekly market.

Ms Ritchie said: “The publication and exhibition of the draft masterplan provides a great opportunity for the people of Newtownards to come and see the proposals aimed at ensuring the long term viability and vitality of the town centre.

“I am therefore calling on everyone with a vested interest in the future of the town to give their views on how the town should adapt, grow and develop over the next 20 years.”

Mayor of Ards Councillor Billy Montgomery highlighted the council's support for the masterplan work.

He said: “An already vibrant town can be made even more sustainable through exciting and contemporary proposals which retain our distinctiveness, and proudly showcase Newtownards to an even bigger audience of shoppers, visitors and local people.

“This is another boost for the town and local input is greatly appreciated at this time.”

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