Attwood Backs Downpatrick Masterplan

Downpatrick is to enjoy a major rejuvenation after the launch this week of a masterplan for the the historic town's centre.

The masterplan aims to make Downpatrick an even more attractive destination for local people and visitors by reducing traffic congestion, improving the retail offering and opening up the Quoile river.

The masterplan provides guidance for decision making on the promotion, implementation and timing of regeneration initiatives in the town centre.

Social Development Minister Alex Attwood (pictured) who visited the town said: "Downpatrick is a historic town with a rich heritage and it is internationally renowned as a special visitor destination.

"The Downpatrick masterplan shows how the town centre will be rejuvenated as an energetic, vibrant and forward thinking destination for both local residents and visitors alike.

"Pound for pound across government funding urban regeneration makes sense, helps business, creates footfall and builds jobs. In the forthcoming budget negotiations it is essential that the Executive hears loud and clear this message.

"Downpatrick and all other towns with plans for the future can help convey that message and convince the Executive how best to spend its Budget," he said.
News Image
The main proposals in the masterplan include:
  • a major new retail development in the Grove area to create a first class shopping environment in the heart of Downpatrick;
  • new people friendly streets to improve linkage throughout the town;
  • continued support for public realm improvements and development opportunity sites;
  • a Quoile River Country Park. This will introduce a network of walking and cycling links between key destinations such as the Mound of Down and Inch Abbey; and
  • a range of proposals to reduce traffic congestion to make the town centre more accessible.
Minister Attwood continued: "The vision for Downpatrick is that it continues as a distinctive market town and destination that people will choose to visit. Achieving the vision will be challenging however if all those with an interest in Downpatrick work together I am confident that the action plan contained in the report will be achieved."

Chairman of Down District Council, Eamon O'Neill commented: "Down District Council is pleased to have had the opportunity of working with DSD to produce this innovative Masterplan for the future development of our County town.

"I am confident that these exciting initiatives outlined in the report will create an enhanced commercial and economic future for Downpatrick into this new century. I hope that everyone can get behind the report to ensure that this can be achieved sooner rather than later."

Minister Attwood went on an escorted walking tour of the town centre to see some of the areas that have been identified in the masterplan for potential regeneration.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 March 2018
Work Continues On New Boulevard In Belfast
Construction work is continuing on a new boulevard in Belfast. The road will lead from the Boucher Road to the newly refurbished Olympia Leisure Centre and is part of the £21.75million being invested in the project. Belfast City Council is also urging the public to suggest a new name for the boulevard which is due to open at the end of May.
19 October 2017
Man Assaulted In Belfast City Centre
Police have launched an investigation after a man was assaulted in Belfast. The attack happened in the Howard Street area at around 10.30pm on Tuesday, 17 October. The victim is currently being treated for his injuries in hospital.
04 October 2017
Outdoor Education Centre In Ardnabannon To Close
The Education Authority (EA) is to shut down an outdoor learning centre in Ardnabannon, Co Down. The Ardnabannon Outdoor Education Centre offers a variety of pursuits including hillwalking and archery. Sinn Féin's Chris Hazzard MP described the announcement as "devastating".
25 September 2017
Pig's Head Left Outside Community Centre In East Belfast
A pig's head has been left outside a community centre in east Belfast. Inverary Community Centre on Inverary Avenue was targeted between Friday night and the early hours of Saturday morning, 23 September. Police are treating the incident as a hate crime. Graffiti was also daubed on the walls of the building.
25 February 2009
Downpatrick Masterplan Consultants Appointed
Consultants have been appointed to develop the masterplan for Downpatrick town centre, the NI Regeneration Minister has revealed. Margaret Ritchie said the consultants will advise on transportation, access and parking changes for the town. They will also identify key town centre sites and make recommendations on their development.
03 October 2011
Portrush Revamp Takes Next Step
The next step in the Portrush regeneration is set to get moving with contractors appointed and funding allocated. FP McCann have been appointed to carry out the development of the area in the town known as Station Square. The Department of Social Development is providing funding of £1 million to Coleraine Borough Council for the regeneration.
27 May 2011
McCausland Unveils Cookstown Regeneration
The launch of a draft Masterplan for Cookstown town centre has taken place, with NI Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland announcing that the purpose of the plan is to provide strategic guidance for the regeneration and development of the town centre over the next 10-15 years - and to enhance job opportunities.
07 January 2010
Ards Redevelopment Views Sought
A call has been made for the people of Newtownards to have their say on the redevelopment of the town centre. Minister Ritchie (pictured) is in the Co Down town today to view an exhibition outlining draft Masterplan proposals on display in the Town Hall, Conway Square.
18 October 2017
Political Leaders Meet With Former US President
Former US President Bill Clinton has met with DUP leader Arlene Foster to deliver a new education initiative. He was due to fly to Belfast on Monday, however it was postponed due to Storm Ophelia. Mrs Foster said: "I welcome plans to remodel and expand the work of the Clinton Centre.
27 September 2017
Two DUP Representatives Forced To Leave Public Meeting
Two DUP representatives were forced to leave a public meeting on Tuesday, 26 September, after being "intimidated and heckled", according to DUP leader Arlene Foster. Gary Middleton MLA and Councillor Hilary McClintock had to be escorted out of the Western Trust meeting which was being held at the Verbal Arts Centre in L'Derry.
25 September 2017
Appeal Issued After Man Trapped Under Bus In Belfast
Police are appealing for information after a pedestrian was struck by a bus in Belfast city centre on Saturday, 23 September. The incident happened at Custom House Square at around 11.30am. Emergency services attended the scene and heavy lifting equipment was used to free the man who was trapped under the bus.
07 June 2013
Free Wi-Fi Announced For Co Down Towns
Three town centres in County Down are to benefit from free Wi-FI, following an investment by the Department for Social Development. Downpatrick, Newcastle and Ballynahinch town centres have become the latest in Northern Ireland to offer free Wi-Fi to the public.
07 July 2011
Bangor Masterplan To Boost Builders
A bid to develop the seaside town of Bangor has been launched as a strategic guide that aims for the promotion, implementation and timing of a large urban regeneration initiative in the town centre over the next 15 years.
07 June 2010
Attwood Unveils Plans To Transform Larne
A masterplan for the regeneration of Larne town centre has been unveiled. NI Social Development Minister, Alex Attwood said that the masterplan document sets out proposals for redeveloping three main areas of the town centre; the town core, the Waterfront area next to Larne Lagoon and Riverdale at the head of the town.
11 June 2018
Pope Francis Will Not Visit NI In August
Pope Francis will not be travelling to Northern Ireland in August. The announcement was made by the Vatican who outlined his itinerary on 25 and 26 August. He will visit a homeless day centre and he will also attend the Festival of Families at Croke Park in Dublin. This will be the first papal visit to Ireland in almost 40 years.