Ards and North Down Borough Council is to receive the funding for the ambitious redevelopment scheme which aims to connect the city to the sea through world class visitor and leisure attractions.
News of the funding, secured as part of the Belfast Region City Deal, comes a year after UK and NI Executive Ministers signed the first ever City Deal for Northern Ireland in December 2021.
The Belfast Region City Deal unlocks £1 billion of co-investment that will deliver more than 20 highly ambitious projects and programmes, create up to 20,000 new jobs and make the region a global investment destination over the next decade.
The highly ambitious Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) represents a new way of working between central and local government and regional partners. The UK Government and NI Executive have each committed £350 million and partners a further £150 million toward the shared vision of inclusive economic growth that delivers more and better jobs, a positive impact on the most deprived communities and a balanced spread of benefits across the region.
The Bangor Waterfront Redevelopment represents an investment of circa £73 million in a two-mile stretch of the city’s coastline. It will connect the city to the sea through a range of sustainable, world-class visitor and leisure attractions/experiences.
With £40 million funding now secured, work can begin to deliver this ambitious 10-year plan, regenerating existing assets including Bangor’s 5 Gold Anchor Marina, the popular family attraction, Pickie Fun Park, as well as significant development and improvement of public spaces. This will deliver on a vision for Bangor agreed by local stakeholders in 2018 – to make Bangor a ‘destination of choice’ to live, work, study and invest in.
There are also plans to deliver a ‘Phase 2’ to the recently opened Court House music venue in Bangor that will include new event and performance spaces and to develop an international watersports facility at a new-look Ballyholme Yacht Club and Watersports Centre. This combination of funding and investment will transform and
future-proof Bangor, delivering a significant boost to tourism and encouraging further investment.
Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Karen Douglas, said: “This is a significant milestone to an exciting new future for the City of Bangor. As the programme of works rolls out over the next 10 years, this redevelopment of the waterfront will bring benefits and opportunities to residents, businesses, and to the wider Borough as a whole. I am very much looking forward to seeing Bangor firmly back on the map as a place to live, work and visit.”
Gerard Murray, Director of the Department for Communities’ Regional Development Office, said: “The Department for Communities is working closely with Ards and North Down Borough Council to support the development and delivery of the Bangor Waterfront Project supported by the Belfast Region City Deal.
"The agreement of the Contract for Funding is a significant milestone and an indication of the excellent collaboration between central and local government to deliver this exciting project. With the recent planning approval for the regeneration of Queen’s Parade by Bangor Marine, this really is an exciting time for the city.
“Bangor’s residents and visitors can look forward to a revitalised waterfront reconnecting the city to its marine heritage and re-establishing Bangor as one of our premier tourism and leisure destinations.”
Having received confirmation of funding, the council will now work through a series of stages before any construction begins on the Bangor Waterfront Development. These include procure consultants to develop design proposals, engage and consult with the public and stakeholders, secure planning and other statutory approvals, develop detailed technical designs and specifications for construction and procure a building contractor.