Investing In Maghera
£5M Investment Earmarked For Leisure, Regeneration & Business Development
‘A vibrant, welcoming place where people work in partnership to create a thriving town reflecting its unique culture and heritage.’ A vision for Maghera: Maghera Development Framework 2017-2030.
Maghera is to benefit from close to £5M of investment in a series of projects spanning leisure, town centre regeneration and business development over the next 3 years.
The investment plans flow from the vision and themes in the ‘Maghera Development Framework 2017-2030’ which seeks to enhance Maghera with townscape improvements, improved traffic management and car parking, as well as making the most of the town’s potential as a place to visit and enjoy recreation and leisure opportunities.
We take a look at some of the significant plans to deliver on the vision of ‘a vibrant, welcoming place where people work in partnership to create a thriving town reflecting its unique culture and heritage.’
A new-look town centre
Proposals for a new-look town centre are under development in a public realm scheme valued at £2.5M. Early design concepts show new paving, lighting, planting and street furniture installed in an area of the town which extends the length of Main Street, taking in parts of Coleraine Road, Station Road, Meeting House Avenue, Tirkane Road, Church Street, Glen Road, Hall Street, Bank Square and St Lurach’s Road.
The scheme also seeks to address vehicle congestion and queuing and limited on-street parking in the narrow Main Street area of the town. Among the potential solutions is the creation of a one-way system where traffic flows in one direction north on upper Main Street or alternatively in one direction south-east on lower Main Street.
While public consultation will take place on the detailed designs in summer 2019, the Council is holding a drop-in information session this month which will show the early concepts and allow local residents and businesses to feedback their initial views.
If you would like to see the public realm design concepts, come along to Walsh’s Hotel on Thursday 21 March between 2pm and 7pm.
Work underway to create new ‘Largantogher Walkway’
Work is already underway to create the new ‘Largantogher Walkway’’ in Maghera. The 600m path will, for the first time, connect the Walled Garden which is adjacent to the historic St Lurach’s church with the town’s Tobermore Road, creating more opportunities for local people and visitors alike to enjoy open green space, with peaceful areas to rest along the way.
The landscaped pathway, bordered by trees and green fields on one side, has all the feel of a countryside walk, just a heartbeat from the town centre.
Enhanced with lighting and seating, the walk will also have information panels to detail the history of The Walled Garden, St Lurach’s Church and the local area.
Representing an investment of £250K, the pathway is 75% funded via the Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership (Local Action Group), with the remaining 25% coming from Mid Ulster District Council. It is one of 37 village renewal projects, representing £2.15M of capital investment across Mid Ulster under the Rural Development Programme.
This project is part funded under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union.
Business Park Proposal Combined With Woodland Walks For Former High School Site
Proposals to develop the now derelict former Maghera High School site into a business park, incorporating the creation of new pathways through woodland and open space, have reached planning application stage.
Earmarked for business development for some time, its potential for business growth, job creation and regeneration has long been recognised, from the former Magherafelt Council’s report ‘A Vision For Maghera 2015’ to the ‘Maghera Physical Development Framework and Action Plan 2017-30’.
The £2.1M plans involve the creation of up to 8 serviced sites, with qualifying businesses able to purpose-build their own facilities, anticipated to range in size from 4,000sqft to 20,000sqft and be limited to mixed use and enterprise centre business units.
Reflecting community views that the site also offers an opportunity to enhance open space, the plans also now include new woodland walkways around the southern area of the site, as well as soft landscaping, tree planting and the establishment of wildflower areas. Businesses are also being invited to submit expressions of interest in serviced sites at the proposed new business park. Visit www.midulstercouncil.org/magheraEOI.
Leisure Centre Refurbishment
Renovation has already completed on Maghera Leisure Centre, where a £140K refurbishment programme saw the sports hall floor surface resurfaced, a new 3G surface installed at the existing synthetic pitch and new dug outs on the grass soccer pitch.
In the coming months, £47K worth of new state of the art equipment, including 31 spin bikes and new studio fitness equipment for classes, will enhance the experience offered to customers from September 2019.
|Dates for your diary
Discover more about the early proposals for the town centre public realm scheme at our drop-in information session on Thursday 21 March between 2pm and 7pm, Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera.
Opening of the new Largantogher Walkway.
For more information about investment plans for Maghera and to keep-up-to-date with developments, visit www.midulstercouncil.org/investinginmaghera.