21/12/2010

Derry City Centre Transformation Unveiled

A Londonderry city centre public realm scheme for Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place has been unveiled by the Stormont Social Development Minister Alex Attwood.

The major £8m regeneration project, is the most significant ever made in public space in Derry, and has created a high quality, modern, urban landscape in the heart of the city.

The public realm refurbishment work includes a new user friendly pedestrian environment; contemporary street furniture comprising of a range of benches, cycle racks, bollards and granite blocks; a range of modern lighting columns and fittings; a jet water fountain with LED lighting feature and new stone paving.

In addition to the public realm work, underground utilities including water and gas mains, electricity and telecoms have all been upgraded and replaced.

The SDLP Minister, Alex Attwood said: "This is great news for all the people of Derry and the many visitors who will be coming here over the next few years.

"The refurbishment work will help attract and stimulate further private sector investment. It will also entice visitors to spend time in this historic city enjoying the shops, restaurants, café culture and will act as a backdrop to high profile events such as the City of Culture.
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"This scheme has created an attractive, welcoming city centre space for people to enjoy and has generated tangible economic benefits.

"New businesses have opened and buildings including the Northern Counties, the Custom House, the Northern Bank and the Guildhall either have or are in the process of being refurbished."

Minister Attwood continued: "A scheme of this quality highlights the value of urban regeneration.

"In my view, there is a good argument that pound for pound, government investment in urban regeneration is a key economic strategy out of recession, increasing footfall, creating new shops and new jobs.

"It is particularly welcome that so many local firms and people were actively involved in delivering the project including FP McCann of Magherafelt, P McColgan & Sons Electrical Contractors Derry, W & J Chambers of Drumahoe and of course the local people who found employment on the scheme."

The Mayor of Derry Councillor Colum Eastwood said: "The transformation of the Guildhall Square/Waterloo Place area is a major success story for this city and is welcomed by all of our citizens.

"The very high quality spaces are a real benefit to the people who live here, who visit the city and are clearly encouraging further investment.

"The scenes we saw during the summer months, when pupils from all our schools interacted freely in the Guildhall Square, demonstrate what a genuine shared space can bring to the city centre,"

(GK)

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