£7m injection to give town centre a boost

An aerial view of Lurgan
An aerial view of Lurgan

A cash injection of almost £7m is to be made to breathe new life into Lurgan’s historic town centre.

The five-year plan will be heritage-led and aims to transform the once-thriving market town’s historic and architectural heritage some of which dates back to the 17th century.

Almost £2m of the funding will come from the National Lottery with another £2m from Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council and the rest from investment from property owners and public bodies.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded the grant to the council in support of a five-year Townscape Heritage project ‘to breathe new life into the commercial heart of Lurgan and celebrate its rich built and cultural heritage’.

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, said: “This heritage-led regeneration will transform Lurgan’s historic streetscape, helping to attract new residents and businesses to the town centre and boost the local economy.”

He said they had been working with groups to develop heritage projects that matter to them and bring real benefits to local people.

“I am delighted to report that the HLF has supported 34 different projects and invested more than £6m into the local area,” added Mr Mullan.

Many of Lurgan’s historic buildings have fallen into disrepair and are underused or vacant.

The new project will support the repair and conservation of 25 historic properties within the Conservation Area, bringing back into sustainable use much-needed, valuable commercial floor space and providing new residential accommodation opportunities.

A programme of 50 events and activities will help attract new visitors to the town centre to celebrate its unique heritage, revitalising the area and repositioning Lurgan as a vibrant place to live, work and visit and will involve 10k people including 115 volunteers.

Cllr Joe Nelson, Chair of Lurgan Townscape Heritage Partnership added: “Our council has committed to developing and enhancing this borough in a sustainable way, increasing community understanding and enjoyment of the natural and built environment. Restoring and revitalising buildings within conservation areas is a key part of protecting our rich and varied built heritage for current and future generations to enjoy.”