Official Launch of Lisburn City's Transformational Public Realm
November 11, 2015
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has officially unveiled its new look City Centre, following a £5million investment in the public realm. In partnership with the Department for Social Development, the Council has undertaken an extensive series of improvements and upgrades to the city centre, supporting its drive to be known as the number one destination for both retail and private sector business in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the celebration event, Alderman Allan Ewart, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee, said: “The development of Lisburn City Centre’s public realm forms part of our long term, vision – addressing challenges, responding to the new developments in the area, meeting the requirements of businesses, visitors and residents and ensuring that Lisburn City can achieve its true potential as one of Northern Ireland’s most vibrant, commercially successful cities.
“We strongly believe the extensive enhancement of this culturally rich and vibrant area will make it a more attractive space for the public whilst increasing footfall, boosting retail spend, facilitating an evening economy, attracting more visitors; and allowing us to present a compelling proposition for future investment.”
From the outset the Council’s vision was to create a world-class design with unique and interesting features introduced to showcase the retail and leisure offering within the city centre and to help improve the visitor experience by reducing the dominance of vehicular traffic throughout the scheme. The use of natural stone and increased pavement widths, has achieved this goal.
The scheme covers the heart of the City Centre transforming Market Square with a new events space that includes dramatic feature lighting columns, an interactive LED light floor and water features. Paving has been upgraded across the Square and along connecting streets which include Bow Street, Haslems Lane and Market Street. Bespoke furniture, including benches, seats and bins, were hand crafted and installed throughout the scheme. The settings of the two monuments within the Square has also been enhanced with raised landscaped areas.
Officially opening the Lisburn City Centre Public Realm Scheme, Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey MLA said: “This was an ambitious project and I am delighted to see at first hand that the vision from the overall Lisburn City Centre Masterplan has been fully realised and delivered through the completion of this Public Realm Scheme. The £3million investment by my Department alongside the significant investment by the Council, will put Lisburn City on a firm footing, where those who live, work and visit the City will enjoy renewed growth, investment and prosperity.”
Mayor Councillor Thomas Beckett adds: “The improved public realm area shows the inherent strength of Lisburn City Centre and the ambition to make Lisburn a competitive and attractive place to visit and in which to do business. Investment in our public spaces is a priority for us and we will continue to champion the merits of accessible, attractive high quality spaces, with support from our partners.
“We have a fantastic mix of people who use the City Centre to work, shop and visit and, who along with myself, are extremely proud of our improving City Centre. Many businesses have already embraced our scheme and appreciate its potential. With several businesses investing in significant upgrades to their own shop fronts. Our hope is that together these improvements will help drive footfall upwards in the city centre and build upon the community spirit of Lisburn & Castlereagh.”
Going forward, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has plans in place to continue its programme of improvements throughout adjoining streets, to link all parts of the city centre to the pedestrian precinct.
The improved public realm areas will be the focal point for an extensive programme of events, with a varied Christmas programme already in place. A series of exciting and different events are already being developed in partnership with a range of stakeholders to take place throughout 2016.