27/05/2011

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.

DUP Minister McCausland said: "The draft plan is a boost for Cookstown town centre. The proposals show innovative and exciting ideas to help build and secure continuing investment in the town.

"The proposals will also provide a realistic vision of how this historic market town can make best use of its assets and secure ongoing success and prosperity. I want to encourage investment in our towns and cities that contribute to our economy and create urban areas that offer opportunities for employment, leisure, and relaxation.

"A revitalised town centre will help underline Cookstown's role as the 'Retail Capital of Mid-Ulster'. The proposals are important and I want the people of Cookstown and surrounding areas to have their say during the six-week consultation period. This will ensure that the final documents will represent the views of the people who will be directly affected by developments," he said.

Targeting Jobs

Proposals include enhancing town centre retail opportunities including revitalising Molesworth Street, Orritor Street and Coagh Street and increasing job opportunities and improving quality of life by considering the development of new residential developments and examining office/retail space in the town.

It also aims at maximising the promotion of Cookstown including regional and local marketing campaigns and utilising social media channels to promote the area.

It will also look at improving the townscape by enhancing public realm, revitalising vacant sites and upgrading town centre signage and improving town centre accessibility with a pedestrian/parking strategy and an assessment of traffic signals.

The aim is also to have increasing footfall in Cookstown Town Centre including creating a thriving evening economy and promoting an entertainment hub on Burn Road.

Cookstown District Council Director of Development, Adrian McCreesh, stated: "This is a prime opportunity for the business community and residents of Cookstown to have their say on the future development and reinvigoration of Cookstown Town Centre over the next 10-15 years.

"The draft Masterplan contains seven key targets focussing on various aspects of town centre development. I urge all key stakeholders to partake in the consultation process, to ensure that the Masterplan is reflective of the needs of the local community. Everyone's input is valuable as this strategic document will act as a catalyst towards the future development of Cookstown Town Centre," said the former Stormont Culture Minister.

The plans will be on display from Tuesday 31 May to Friday 15 July at the Burnavon Arts & Cultural Centre, Burn Road, Cookstown during normal opening hours. The display will be manned by DSD personnel during normal office hours from Tuesday 31 May 2011 – Monday 6 June 2011.

(GK/BMcC)

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