Other News In Brief

£20m Leisure Centre Officially Opens In Belfast

A new £20 million leisure centre for residents of east Belfast has been officially opened today, 08 January.

Members of the public and local government were invited to the new Lisnasharragh Aquatic Centre to mark its official launch. The state-of-the-art facility has been on soft opening since December 2019.

Lisnasharragh has now become the leading aquatic centre for Belfast, featuring the city's biggest swimming pool with eight lanes, state of the art timing devices for gala swimming, as well as a diving pool and Tom Daley Diving Academy. It has also been equipped with multi-purpose health and fitness studios, fully equipped gyms, sports halls, and community facilities.

Welcoming the official opening, SDLP Belfast City Councillor Séamas de Faoite said: "The £20 million, state of the art aquatics hub will benefit the whole of our city and in particular our local community in South-East Belfast.

"This will be a busy, brand new facility which will be at the heart of a rapidly growing and diversifying community. Following our many years of campaigning I am delighted it will be open and welcoming to all."

Plans For Banbridge Game Of Thrones Visitor Centre Welcomed

The Alliance Party has welcomed the planning submission for a new £24 million Game of Thrones tour and visitor centre in Banbridge.

The proposed attraction at the Linen Mill Studios would house sets, props, costumes and other memorabilia from the hit HBO show. It would create almost 200 jobs in the area.

Banbridge Councillor Mr Pope said given the investment and potential visitor numbers, the proposal represents a fantastic opportunity for the area.

Cllr Pope said: "I met with the senior managers at Linen Mill Studios in November to discuss the benefits of this unique attraction for Banbridge and the wider area. We also discussed forging positive links with the town centre and the local community, and local road impacts.
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"At the council's Economic Development Committee meetings I have spoken positively about these proposals and I want to commend council officers for all their hard work.

"I therefore welcome the investment, the potential boost for local jobs and the benefits to our leisure and tourism industry, not to mention the potential boost to our creative industries and local educational centres.

"Game of Thrones is an internationally recognised franchise, produced by one of the world's largest television studios. Put simply, this could place Banbridge firmly on the world stage."

Omagh Streets To Undergo Regeneration Work

Three streets in Omagh town centre are set to undergo redevelopment to enhance the local area.

Further revitalisation funding will see High Street, Market Street and Georges Street upgraded with a shop front improvement scheme, street cleansing and 'Bags for Life' to promote shopping.

This project is being delivered in an effort to boost the natural, built and cultural heritage of Omagh town centre, restoring dilapidated properties across the three streets. It is being completed with funding from the Department for Communities (DfC) and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, which are working with local traders on the scheme.

As well as enhancing the area, the project will improve connectivity with John Street, Bridge Street, Old Market Place and Campsie, which have recently undergone revitalisation schemes.

Speaking about the latest project, the Chair of Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie, said: "Fermanagh and Omagh District Council works in partnership with other key stakeholders to deliver projects which make the district a better place to live, work and visit. Following on from the recent completion of the Bridge Street Revitalisation project, the Council is delighted to be once again working in collaboration with the Department for Communities to deliver this project which will reinvigorate the High Street, Market Street and Georges Street areas of the town and greatly benefit the main thoroughfare of the town.

"We are grateful to local businesses and visitors to the town centre for their patience and understanding while the works are ongoing."


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