Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Regeneration of Bangor Town Centre

The DUP's Gordon Dunne brought the adjournment debate focusing on the need for the regeneration of Bangor town centre, on 20 March 2012.

Mr Dunne said the County Down town had "great potential" and needed to be actively promoted so that it was "a place that people wanted to visit".

However, he said Bangor was now "a shadow of what it once was".

"The seafront has become particularly run down with the notorious Queen's Parade, which has regrettably become the greatest eye-sore in North Down," he added.

He urged central government to support local government to ensure the town did not "continue to deteriorate".

Mr Dunne said regeneration would require an improvement in the accessibility and transport links and the right infrastructure put in place to attract investment.

He said that positive work had been ongoing for years including the building of a new 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool due to open next year and improvements made to the Pickie fun park area.

North Down MLA Stephen Farry said there had been "a lot of frustration" over the lack of progress throughout the town.

Responding to the debate, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said town centres were vital to the economic life of Northern Ireland.

He said Bangor was one of the towns he intended to discuss with retail expert Mary Portas who he has invited to advise on how the country's town centres can be revitalised.

The minister said there was a Bangor town centre master plan aimed to regenerate Queen's Parade and the waterfront area but said it would take a number of years before construction would begin.


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