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Town centre to be ‘vastly improved’

The impending multi-million pound public realm works for Strabane town centre will “vastly improve” the whole area for both businesses and members of the public alike.

The subject of a planning application recently lodged with Derry City and Strabane District Council, the work is expected to become the biggest redevelopment of town centre in a generation.

The aim is the complete modernisation of Strabane with an expansion of the existing town centre. The cost of the works is expected to run to around £4.5million.

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“The public realm works are much-needed in the town centre; it’s in dire need of a facelift and we have been informed of the scope of work some time ago,” President of Strabane Chamber of Commerce, Martin Gallen remarked.

“I know that during the work some disruption will be caused to business in the area but it’s totally unavoidable and if anyone has any concerns then they can contact me and I’ll pass the concerns on to the relevant bodies. The works when completed will create a much nicer area and I know it won’t fix all the perceived problems people seem to have but it’s a start and will surely let people know that Strabane isn’t a forgotten area.”

A resurfacing of footways with granite and concrete paving, granite kerbing, enhancements to street tree planting, street lighting and street furniture – the improvements will include the removal of both the Pagoda and the public toilets on Market Street.

The planning proposals also detail improvements to the junction at Railway Street, Abercorn Square, Derry Road and Canal Street resulting in a realignment of the traffic flows and creation of a new public space in Abercorn Square.

“We’re an investment in the region of about £4.5million,” Strabane independent councillor, Paul Gallagher explained.

“It’s been on the long finger for a long time, so it’s long overdue.

“This is the biggest development in a generation, since the mid-’70s. 

“It has to be something that’s going to make the town centre more attractive. Hopefully if you’re in business, this is going to create footfall. Ultimately, this will expand the town centre.”

Similarly, Strabane MLA, Daniel McCrossan, who recently met with council officials, says the town will be revitalised.

“Some very exciting plans for the town centre which will vastly improve the entire area for the public and for local business,” he said.

“Many… will be pleased to know the public toilets are getting bulldozed.

“I also discussed the need for the immediate works to begin in cleaning up the town centre in terms of street washing, weeds and graffiti removal.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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