01/02/2010

Omagh Riverbank Gets £4m Investment

Contractors in Co Tyrone are to get a fillip soon as a major contract to improve the riverbank area of Omagh has been approved.

The £4million face lift will take place over the next two years with Omagh District Council receiving 100% funding from Europe as part of the 'OASIS Project.'

The work will create a number of iconic structures including a footbridge from Drumragh Avenue car park to the Old Market Place on the opposite side of the River Strule.

The OASIS Project, which means Omagh Accessible Shared Inclusive Space, is currently at an embryo stage but the council will soon be searching for a design team to lead the development of the lavish project which will fully transform an area that in recent years has been described as a 'drinking den.'
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Head of Development at the council, Alison McCullagh explained: "The OASIS project will see the regeneration of the area between Strule Bridge and Bells Bridge, with the development of creation of a riverside walkway and cycle path on the river bank behind the bus depot, a pedestrian bridge linking to Old Market Place and a shared civic space.

"100 per-cent funding for it has been secured by the council through the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

"The rationale for the OASIS project is that it will be one of several iconic projects across Northern Ireland demonstrating reconciliation and promoting a shared use of space."

She added: "The OASIS project will link into the council's riverside walkway and cycle path project and the intention is that the design for the OASIS scheme will be consistent with the overall design and materials throughout the whole riverside walk."

Meanwhile, Phase 1 of the Riverside Walkway and Cycle Path, from Bells Bridge (Strule Arts Centre) to Abbey Bridge (Hogshead) is almost complete and is scheduled to open in the coming weeks.

The council is also working to complete a funding package for the remainder of the riverside walkway and cycle path which will continue from Abbey Bridge to Grange Park and through Lisanelly and St Lucia lands to the new link road at the Derry Road roundabout.

(BMcC/GK)

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