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Cash bonanza for Armagh

Thursday, 6 July 2017

6.3m secured in heritage project to 'revitalise' city .

Over 6m in funding has been secured for the Armagh City Townscape Heritage project, which is set to create 45 new jobs.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council had secured the bulk of the funding, a pledge by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which had revealed earlier this year that planned to award nearly 2m in funding, has now been confirmed following the submission of final plans.

The five-year project aims to conserve the built heritage of two cluster sites within the city's conservation area, with funding used to repair 28 properties, bringing back into sustainable use more than 5,000 sq metres of historic floor spaces. Streets earmarked for the scheme include Upper English Street, Russell Street, Scotch Street and Barrack Street, among others. The ongoing redevelopment plans to transform the Armagh Gaol, however, will not benefit under this HFL scheme, as it is an entirely separate project.

In addition to the jobs boost, an existing 30 jobs for the townscape scheme have been secured, and it is hoped that the project will help to attract millions of pounds worth of additional investment to the area.

An events and activities programme, outlining the cultural heritage of Armagh, will be organised for the local community. People will also be given the opportunity to learn new skills, or train to become a heritage ambassador for the area.

Announcing the award, Paul Mullan, Head of HLF NI, said, "We are delighted to confirm this 1.9m grant to revitalise Armagh City centre. This Townscape Heritage project will showcase the ability of heritage-led regeneration to breathe new life into our town and city centres.

"The restoration works will transform the historic built environment within the Conservation Area, making it a more attractive place to live, work or visit and it will act as a catalyst for future investment and growth.

"The project will inspire people to learn more about the heritage that surrounds them and provide opportunities for skills development. It is thanks to National Lottery players that this project will be delivering real benefits for the local community for years to come." Meanwhile, Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Gareth Wilson also welcomed the award, saying, "I'm delighted we have been successful in securing this grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This now brings the total investment to 6.3m secured as part of this major regeneration project.

"Armagh has a rich-built heritage and the funding will help restore and enhance the city for future generations. We look forward to working in partnership with the HLF to implement the scheme."

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