31/03/2011

Shambles Yard Regeneration Moves Forward

A £1m project to regenerate Shambles Yard, Armagh, has been given the go ahead.

An extensive consultation in 2007 received huge support towards investigating funding opportunities to develop the Shambles Yard, and when the final joint application from Armagh City and District Council and Armagh Church Forum was agreed and submitted, the International Fund for Ireland responded favourably.

The Project has now been given the green light and the Fund have agreed to contribute around £790,000 towards developing the Shambles Yard into a 'shared space'. Additional funding will come from Armagh City and District Council.

In partnership with the four main Churches in Armagh, the Council will oversee the development and implementation of the Project.

Dr Denis Rooney, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: "The International Fund for Ireland was happy to support this project which has the potential to create a shared space and deliver positive social and economic impacts for everyone in this part of Armagh city and the wider region.

"This project has the potential to deliver and sustain positive impacts within and between local communities long after the Fund ceases to exist."

Armagh Mayor Jim Speers, reflected the views of all involved: "During these recessionary times, this project will give a much needed boost to our City, it is a welcomed investment.

"The Shambles Yard, the markets and all activities run within the Yard throughout the years have been central to Armagh City and District for some time and we are encouraged by IFI's commitment to transform and expand the potential of the Yard."

Dean Patrick Rooke, Church of Ireland representative stated: "This project will play an important part in providing a visible link between our two historical Cathedrals. I congratulate Armagh City and District Council in promoting this important development in the life and witness of Armagh."

The physical improvement of the Shambles Yard is only one aspect of this regeneration scheme. In providing a flexible and common use of the area and a new venue for cross-community events/exhibitions, the project will also incorporate an extensive programme of cross -community activities and events to be hosted in the yard.

(GK/KMcA)

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