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15/06/2018

Newry city centre regeneration proposals make waves

Words: Roger Milne
Newry / Shutterstock_654430774

International property consultancy Deloitte has recommended that Newry city centre should be regenerated with a new civic hub, a theatre/conference centre and a range of hotel and office developments as part of a strategy designed to deliver new investment, create jobs and attract visitors.

These proposals were highlighted in a report prepared by the consultancy, which the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council confirmed to The Planner was welcomed by the local authority’s strategic projects working group.

The report was backed by two studies on both the office and hotel sector in the city by real estate consultancy CBRE.

These found that development of more hotel and office accommodation, assisted by the council, could drive economic growth and reinforce Newry’s position as a regional gateway city between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

These assessments pointed to the success of office schemes in nearby Belfast, where locations such as the Gasworks, the Harbour Estate, Science Park, and the Titanic Quarter were all developed speculatively and now enjoy high levels of occupation.

CBRE’s Brian Livery said: “We believe there is capacity for a hotel development in Newry City. There is currently limited supply which cannot meet the demand from tour operator businesses. An increase in the supply of rooms will sit hand in glove with the council's drive to generate more business and tourism footfall in the area.”

He added: “We also see potential for more hotel stock in other areas of the district, for example, Newcastle and Downpatrick, albeit there would need to be clarity on a year-round tourist offering, ensuring Newry Mourne and Down realises its potential as a leading tourist destination.”

Council chair Mark Murnin said: “As a council we want to create the right environment for the city to flourish in the years ahead, and these reports offer the right roadmap to do just that. Newry is already a great place to live and do business, but we have only scratched the surface of its true potential."

Image credit | The Academy of Urbanism

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