30/08/2005

Lisburn Historic Quarter to benefit from facelift

Lisburn's Historic Quarter could be restored under two new grant schemes being funded by the Department for Social Development (DSD).

DSD has approved funding of £38,300 for the schemes which have been drawn up to address the related problems of the Historic Quarter's economic and commercial underperformance compared with the rest of the City Centre.

Shopkeepers and property owners will be able to apply for grants of up to 30% towards the costs of improving existing shop fronts or creating new shop fronts in a traditional style. Under the second scheme, grants of up to 50% are available for work to spruce up the outside of buildings such as painting, cleaning and small scale repairs.

Lisburn City Centre Management, which is managing the schemes on behalf of DSD, said it was keen to promote the reintroduction of the shop awnings which were once a feature of this part of Lisburn.

Ian Snowden from the Department for Social Development said: "We are offering owners and occupiers the opportunity to protect and improve the appearance of the Historic Quarter.

"Creating a more appealing environment will help to attract more people and hopefully new businesses into this important area of Lisburn."

Deputy Mayor of Lisburn and Chairman of the Lisburn Historic Quarter Trevor Lunn agreed: "This is a very comprehensive and timely initiative which complements the regeneration of Bridge Street.

"The schemes provide attractive incentives for a much wider area which potentially can make a significant impact on the physical regeneration of the Lisburn Historic Quarter."

The designated Conservation Area was destroyed by the great fire of 1707 but an attractive 18th century landscape was rebuilt. However, the area has become run down in recent years with the steady loss of many historic features.

The Lisburn Historic Quarter covers an area that includes Bridge Street, the Castle Gardens, Castle Street, Railway Street, Lisburn Railway Station, Market Square and part of Bow Street.

(MB/SP)

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