Plan to revamp night economy

The 23 year-old man was released on bail.
The 23 year-old man was released on bail.

A £224,000 plan to market Portadown as an evening and night-time economy town has been put forward by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Among the suggestions is a £50,000 project to transform the area from Mandeville Street across to Zio’s as an evening ‘hub’ with decoration and lighting.

A sum of £60,000 would be dedicated to the river, riverbank and People’s Park, with activities to include river racing, dragon boats and family orientated festivals.

Connecting the riverside to the town would cost an estimated £25,000 for signs and route marking. A further £35,000 would go to safety campaigns including a taxi rank and help point at Church Street, a street pastor scheme and ‘home safe’ campaign.

Funding would also be directed at Millennium Court Arts Centre and Market Lane with educational and arts/craft activities to bring people into the town centre and twilight markets as opposed to the current daytime ones, which are deemed “tired”.

The strategy was developed after consultation with businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and other key stakeholders and presented to members of the economic development and regeneration committee this week.

The council says the availability of activities and events in the evening is widely recognised as one of the most crucial and powerful economic engines a city or town can have.