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Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has announced a £2.4million public realm scheme for Donaghadee. The Department of Social Development and Ards Borough Council are jointly funding the scheme which will cover Shore Street, New Street, Bridge Street, the Parade and High Street and has been designed to make the town much more attractive to both locals and visitors.

Announcing the Scheme the Minister said “This investment will make a significant contribution to improving the fortunes of the town by attracting visitors to the area and encouraging private sector investment. This funding demonstrates my ongoing commitment to the regeneration of Donaghadee.”

Councillor Tom Smith, Chairman of the Donaghadee Town Steering Group and a local resident said:, “This is excellent news and I'm very glad that we are moving forward with this £2.4 million investment in Donaghadee. The Public Realm scheme will improve and enhance our town centre and seafront making it a more attractive place to visit and do business. The next stage of the scheme is to move to a detailed design and public consultation. This should happen next month and I hope that local residents and traders will participate in this vital part of the process.”

Community representatives on the Donaghadee Town Steering Group, David Cochrane, John Caldwell and Noel Johnston, were delighted to learn that the funding has been approved and said “This is a tremendous step forward and a much needed investment in Donaghadee's infrastructure. Hopefully this project, when completed, will help promote Donaghadee as a good place to live, a vibrant town to visit and a great place in which to do business".

Anyone interested in the project should attend one of the public consultation sessions, details of which will be announced shortly.

There could be further good news within the next few weeks as the town anxiously awaits the outcome of an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant of just under £1m from the Townscape Heritiage Initiative.