Boost to Armagh’s visitor figures.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

ARMAGH has a wealth of jewels in our crown which we should be proud to promote.

Those are the words of the newly appointed Chairman of Armagh City Centre Management who believes other towns would shout loud and proud if they had a fraction of Armagh's attractions.

Paul Slevin, who is also the manager at the Armagh branch of the Bank of Ireland, said he is looking forward to leading the group which is made up of a committee of 14 local business owners.

Armagh is on the crest of a wave with visitor numbers to the city this year showing a strong rise in comparison to previous years. Just last week thousands attended this year's Georgian Festival which kicked-off what businesses hope will be a bouyant Christmas shopping period.

Armagh is also attracting a large number of visitors from the Republic, determined to take advantage of the weak pound.

The City Centre Management group is keen to bolster Armagh's appeal to visitors from outside the area while at the same time making the city a great place to live and work.

"Armagh does face some big obstacles but there are also a lot of areas we can work in partnership with the council to improve the city centre from an economic and regeneration point of view," said Paul.

"One of our big tasks is to work with the council, PCSP and PSNI to make the city centre a safer place by reducing crime and the fear of crime. We are working on a number of initiatives which we hope will improve this."

Paul is from Warrenpoint but has strong links to the city as his father and grandmother were both from Armagh.

"I have the luxury of being an outsider as I can truly appreciate what Armagh has, sometimes when you come from a place it can be easy to overlook the positive points and focus on the negatives.

"Armagh has a wealth of jewels in our crown such as the Cathedrals, the Mall, the library, the Palace, I could go on and on. If other towns had a fraction of what we have on our doorstep I know they would be shouting loudly about them.

"We have a beautiful city and we should not take it for granted." The biggest development for the city centre in 2018 will be the delivery of the Townscape Heritage Scheme, which is a £6 million captial spend in Armagh's historic city centre.

"This scheme will have the power to transform our city centre," said Paul.

"Vacant and derelict buildings will be restored making them viable places to do business and to live.

Armagh has a uniqueness to it that other towns don't have in that it doesn't have big chain stores - businesses here have the opportunity to stand out."


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