Downpatrick Regeneration Working Group to Launch Living High Streets Framework
As part of a pilot initiative aimed at rejuvenating the High Street, a Downpatrick Living High Streets Framework for Downpatrick will be launched in Down Arts Centre on Tuesday 12 September.
Downpatrick Regeneration Working Group (DRWG) in conjunction with The Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) for Architecture and the Built Environment, Department for Communities and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has produced the framework for Downpatrick.
Local businesses, residents and stakeholders have helped to develop a vision for the town and put it in the best possible position for funding opportunities.
The Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture and the Built Environment co-designed the Living High Streets Craft Kit in response to the challenges faced by traditional high streets, and Downpatrick was one of the first places to put it into practice.
Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte said: “Through a series of five workshops and our public event we have developed a shared understanding of what the needs and unique assets are within Downpatrick.
“We have worked through the process set out by the Craft Kit and captured all the ideas.
“Thank you to the local community and everyone involved who engaged with this fresh approach.
“The Living High Streets Framework has put Downpatrick in the best possible position to take advantage of future funding opportunities”.
Downpatrick Regeneration Working Group Chair, Malachy McGrady said: “The Working Group is delighted to be at the stage whereby we can launch our Downpatrick Living High Streets Framework document.
“We have engaged in an extensive series of workshops, meetings and surveys to ensure that this document represents the vision that all stakeholders in Downpatrick wish to see for the future.
“Significant contributions have been received from community groups, businesses, public sector, schools, charities, and individuals young and old which have enabled us to prepare a wish list to progress regeneration in our town.”
Mal McGrady added: “Our thanks go to those committee members who have given of their time and those advisers who have provided technical guidance that has brought us to this stage.
“We are delighted to be able to present this document and encourage as many interested parties as possible to join us at the launch. Whilst it has been an intensive 11 months to get us to this stage the reality is that the hard work is only starting now.
“We have to deliver as many of the targets as possible and now embark upon a journey of identifying and securing funding that will enable these changes to be made.
“This is the beginning of a process, and I would ask everyone to join us on the journey to restore our town to a vibrant and safe centre for residents and visitors alike.”
Vice Chair of the Downpatrick Regeneration Working Group Councillor Oonagh Hanlon said: “The framework is a great example of co-design and how working together, we can build on the existing attractions in our town and help establish it is a vibrant, thriving hub for people to live, work, shop and relax in.
“Downpatrick Regeneration group have shown great vision for Downpatrick and have worked hard to ensure the framework is detailed and deliverable. It is an exciting project for our town”.
Damian Mulholland from the Department for Communities said: “We welcome the launch of the Living High Streets Framework for Downpatrick and look forward to continuing to work with the Downpatrick Regeneration Group to take this forward.
“The process enabled all the stakeholders that have an interest in Downpatrick to shape and develop plans for their town and help make Downpatrick a great place to visit, live and work.
“The invaluable learning from this pilot will inform how the Craft Kit is used moving forward.”
Learning from the Downpatrick Pilot, MAG intends to develop additional guidance and tools to assist others planning to use the Living High Streets Craft Kit.
The Downpatrick Living High Streets Framework can be viewed online from 12 September by visiting: