In a major boost for urban regeneration, Newry City Park has secured a £16.2 million funding injection. This development marks a significant milestone for one of Newry’s most ambitious urban rejuvenation projects. The approval of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s Outline Business Case (OBC) by the Department for Communities, coupled with the issuance of a Contract for Funding, has paved the way for accessing these funds from the Executive’s City/Growth Deal Complementary fund. Additionally, the Council is contributing £2.4 million towards the creation of the 15-acre City Park as part of its first phase.

During a recent council meeting, this funding arrangement received the green light, signalling a new chapter in Newry’s urban landscape. This development comes alongside the inauguration of a temporary community space at the Newry City Park site. The Department for Communities granted £220,000 to the Council, enabling the enhancement of the Albert Basin site for community use during the ongoing development of Newry City Park.

This temporary space is set to become a hub of community activity, hosting a variety of events such as small concerts, drama productions, film showings, and outdoor fitness activities. The area, particularly around the William Street entrance, has been revitalised thanks to this funding, expanding its utility for community engagements.

Local officials expressed enthusiasm for the project’s progression. The Council Chairperson, Cllr Valerie Harte, shared her excitement about the funding and the potential of the Newry City Park project, particularly the visuals released for Phase One. Emphasizing the Council’s focus on detailed design and planning, she anticipated the project’s completion by May 2027.

Deputy Chairperson, Cllr Gareth Sharvin, highlighted the importance of the temporary community space, noting its role in providing interim community benefits. He acknowledged the contributions of various stakeholders, including funders and contractors, in bringing this project to fruition.

The co-chairs of the Newry City Centre Regeneration Programme Board, Councillors Declan Murphy and Doire Finn, also welcomed these developments. They lauded the collaborative efforts that led to the successful review process of the Council’s OBC and the anticipated transformation of this urban space.

Colum Boyle from the Department for Communities remarked on the department’s commitment to urban development and the role of collaborative efforts in this regard. He emphasized the positive impact of the Newry City Park project on the attractiveness and vibrancy of Newry as a place to live, work, and visit.

The first phase of the park’s development promises an inclusive and dynamic urban space, featuring facilities such as an inclusive play park, a sensory garden, an outdoor event space, and areas for water and urban sports. These amenities, along with green spaces, woodland areas, and paths for walking, cycling, and running, aim to significantly enhance the quality of life in Newry and its surroundings.