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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Cash to revitalise city streets
The government is to spend 26m on revitalising city centre streets
The government is to spend 26m to revitalise Belfast city centre.

The money will be spent on streets at the heart of the city. A new piece of art will also be commissioned at a cost of 500,000.

Social Development Minister David Hanson said the city centre and its riverfront was "in the midst of an amazing urban renaissance".

Mr Hanson said it was "a golden opportunity to achieve world class standards in the design of streets".

The planned makeover would transform the Ann Street and Corn Market areas, he said.

"This should encourage further investment and attract great numbers of tourists.

"Belfast needs this investment to help it compete on a regional and international basis."

Work on the city centre - at a cost of about 12m - is due to begin in February 2007, with a completion date scheduled for October 2009.

The Department of Social Development and Belfast City Council are also planning to run an international design competition which will focus on Donegall Square in the city centre.

That scheme will cost about 12m.

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