21/06/2024

Public Consultations To Be Held On Carrickfergus Transformation

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council has invited the public to take part in consultations to shape the future of Carrickfergus.

The substantial £42 million investment via the Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) will bring about major changes to the town, aiming to enhance its historical appeal and boost economic growth.

In order to ensure that the project meets the needs and aspirations of the local community, a public engagement process is scheduled to begin. All stakeholders are encouraged to participate actively and express their views. This engagement process will be organised around six themed workshops, specifically designed to enable community groups and residents to review ongoing proposals and offer valuable feedback.

The first two workshops in the series are scheduled for Wednesday 26 June and Wednesday 28 August, both starting at 6pm at Carrickfergus Town Hall. These sessions are a vital part of the consultation, ensuring that the voices of local people are heard and considered in the planning stages.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Alderman Beth Adger MBE said: "The £42 million investment in Carrickfergus will not only revitalise the historic town but also create significant employment opportunities, further boosting the local economy. This regeneration project includes the restoration and enhancement of Carrickfergus Castle and its walls, alongside improvements to the surrounding environment, including refurbishment of the town hall, civic centre and courtyard. These efforts will help preserve the rich history of Carrickfergus while making it more accessible and appealing to both residents and visitors alike."

It is expected that over 150 jobs will be created in attractions, along with more than 140 construction jobs during the project.
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The Mayor also highlighted the potential for inclusive growth and economic boost that the Belfast Region City Deal represents. She said: "The Belfast Region City Deal is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that will drive inclusive growth and provide a significant economic boost for Mid and East Antrim.

"Council's participatory approach ensures that we bring people together to consider their local high streets, address issues and encourage our places and communities to thrive. By engaging the entire community in the project development, we can identify opportunities and challenges, ensuring the future sustainability of Carrickfergus.

"I would encourage residents of Carrickfergus and surrounding areas to participate in the upcoming workshops and contribute their views on the proposed regeneration plans. Public input is vital in shaping a vibrant, sustainable future for the town, ensuring that the project not only preserves the historical essence of Carrickfergus but also addresses contemporary needs and aspirations."

One of the primary goals of the project is to increase annual visitor numbers to the castle, aiming to triple the current figure from 68,000 to 210,000. This will be achieved in part by facilitating a diverse array of events and activities across the town.

Furthermore, the project will focus on investing in public realm improvements. These enhancements are intended to improve accessibility between the castle and the town centre, ensuring visitors can easily explore and fully experience everything Carrickfergus has to offer.

The Belfast Region City Deal is a ground-breaking investment initiative worth over £1 billion, designed to generate up to 20,000 jobs throughout greater Belfast. This ambitious initiative aims to contribute £400 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) directly within the region, enhancing access to improved employment prospects for local residents. It stands as a significant collaborative endeavour involving local councils, government departments, and private sector partners, all working together to stimulate economic development and enhance residents' quality of life.

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