Town ‘masterplan’ seeks funding

FUNDING for a ‘masterplan’ aimed at rejuvenating Magherafelt town centre over the next 15 years is being sought by the local District Council.

Councillors voted last night to submit their long-awaited public realm strategy draft to the Development of Social Development for consideration.


However, they agreed that clarification had to be obtained on how many years the Union flag has been flying in the town centre.

SDLP Councillor Jim Campbell disagreed with a reference in the consultation draft that the flag has been there for 80 years.

He said he could recall occasions in the past when the flag was not in the town centre.

Sinn Fein Councillor Peter Bateson proposed submitting the strategy draft, seconded by party colleague Councillor Sean McPeake.

Work on developing the ‘masterplan’ began in August of last year and the consultation period was extended for a month earlier this year.

The plans, which show a regenerated and pedestrian friendly town centre, were on display in Meadowlane shopping centre back in March when members of the public were encouraged to have their say on the proposals.

The strategy focuses on Rainey Street, Queen Street, Market Street, The Diamond, Broad Street, Church Street, King Street and Churchwell Lane, as well as pedestrian linkages and parking both on street and in car parks. It will also consider street furniture and materials, signage and art work within the town centre.

It was led by a steering group made up of representatives from Department of Social Development, Magherafelt District Council and Magherafelt Chamber of Commerce.

Public realm is defined as any publicly owned streets, pathways, rights of way, parks, publicly accessible open spaces and any public and civic building and facilities.

Meanwhile, the council has approved nine applications for grant aid totalling around £50,000 in respect of the Queen Street Revitalisation Project, which was launched back in April to improve the appearance of buildings in the street.