Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council showcased the development and transformation potential of the council area to MPs, and MLAs, at a think tank event held recently at Lagan Valley Island.
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Showcase
Elected Members Ald. David Drysdale, Ald. William Leathem and Cllr Luke Poots along with Council Chief Executive Dr Theresa Donaldson and Senior Officers Donal Rogan and Jim Rose outlined the Council’s ambitious plans in diverse areas such as investment programmes, key capital projects, transformation plans, City Deal, community planning and the Local Development Plan.
Attendees were asked to consider how the Council could better deliver on their plans and how they, as elected representatives, could help share the Council’s vision and support its plans for the future.
The political engagement event was hosted and introduced by The Mayor, Cllr Tim Morrow who said,
“I’d like to thank all our political representatives for joining with the Council to learn more about where we see Lisburn and Castlereagh in the future and how we can work together, both at a local, regional and national level to best suit our residents and generations to come.
“It is said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and this is so true when we look at the potential for what can be achieved if we all work together and I am encouraged by today’s turnout and commitment to a shared vision for the future,”
The event also featured workshops where attendees were asked to identify any additional key areas for inclusion in the Council’s plans and discuss how local politicians could help improve external partnerships to deliver on these plans.
Chief Executive’s Thoughts
During the event, the Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Dr Theresa Donaldson introduced the key themes that will be included in the Council’s new 2018-2022 Corporate Plan, an investment programme which will would focus on improvements in the tourism, leisure and digital infrastructure of the area as well as the night time economy.
Dr Donaldson also outlined how the plans for the Council area will fit alongside development and transformation plans for all of Northern Ireland.
Dr Donaldson said,
“We have in place an ambitious and comprehensive transformation programme for the area. We need the support and engagement of political representatives at all levels in order to successfully deliver on these plans and help the area fulfil its maximum potential and it is very encouraging to see such strong support being shown here today.
“Our Corporate Plan will be released for public consultation later this week and focuses on five themes; Leading Well, The Economy, Health and Wellbeing, Where we live and Our Community and I confident that by working in tandem across these main areas we will be able to better deliver on all our plans for the Council area”
In summing up the event and highlighting the need for collaborative working to achieve the outlined plans, Dr Donaldson concluded by telling the audience, “Together we are stronger.”
Ribbon Cutting for Blaris Greenway Extension
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has officially opened an extension to the Blaris Greenway scheme.
The latest phase of the scheme links Sprucefield Park and Ride to Halftown Road, a distance of 1.4 kilometres. This brings the total length of the Greenway to 2.8 kilometres from Halftown Road to Blaris Road where it connects with Union Locks, Lisburn and the Lagan Towpath, providing a virtually traffic free route of around 24 kilometres into Belfast city centre.
The path is four metres wide along the majority of its length and also incorporates a series of passing bays along the route to allow local access for agricultural vehicles, providing ample space for everyone to share safely.
Minister Mallon said: “As more of us are choosing pedal power or walking over the traditional car this latest safe traffic-free route will be a welcome addition to the increasingly popular Blaris Greenway by those from local communities who wish to walk, wheel or cycle as a form of leisure or as part of their daily commute.
“The path is conveniently located within reach of Culcavy and Hillsborough, provides access to Maze-Long Kesh and has direct public transport connections to Belfast from the Sprucefield Park and Ride site.
“It was important for me that the local farming community also had access to their agricultural land and I am pleased that we have been able to incorporate passing bays along the path, providing safe passage for all who travel along it.
“I remain committed to creating more active travel opportunities and developing sustainable infrastructure projects and I will continue to work with Executive colleagues, councils and other partners to help deliver cleaner, greener, sustainable active travel infrastructure across our island.”
Caroline Bloomfield, Sustrans Northern Ireland Director said: “It is fantastic to see this high quality, safe walking and cycling route all the way from the Maze village in Co Down to Belfast. It enhances the National Cycle Network, extending NCN Route 9 via the Lagan Towpath to give more than 20 kilometres of virtually traffic-free walking and cycling. Greenways are essential to ensure walking and cycling can be for everyone, whatever their ability. With so many people living along this corridor there are huge benefits for people’s physical and mental health, as well as the environment.”
Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Nicholas Trimble added: “We are delighted that the Blaris Greenway is progressing and connecting more of our rural areas with Lisburn city centre and the towpath into Belfast. I am confident that cyclists will enjoy the opportunity to cycle further off-road and can use it to get to any events that may take place at the Maze-Long Kesh site in the future. I would like to thank the Department for Infrastructure for their continued investment in our area.”
Exciting Development at Dundonald Ice Bowl as Planning Permission Approved
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has approved planning permission to redevelop Dundonald International Ice Bowl with plans that will see it transformed in to a top class attraction with state of the art facilities in a sleek, modern fit for purpose building.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Chairman of the Capital Projects Committee said: “I am delighted to see this project pass a key milestone. The innovative plans include a new Olympic sized ice rink, the only public one on the island of Ireland putting Lisburn and Castlereagh on the map in the professional skating world.
“Along with tenpin bowling and a children’s soft play & adventure play area, we will attract visitors from across NI and beyond, ensuring we retain our status as one of NI’s leading visitor attractions.
“The local community will also benefit from new primary health care and community facilities including an outdoor children’s play area. There will be restaurants, offices and new car parking, all surrounded by contemporary landscaping. I am excited to see how this develops.”
Alderman Michael Henderson MBE, Chairman of the Leisure & Community Development Committee added: “The success of Dundonald International Ice Bowl speaks for itself, welcoming over 600,000 people through its doors each year. Its importance as a regional attraction is evident, supporting tourism, economic activity, job creation and now providing services to the community under these new plans.
“The new Dundonald International Ice Bowl will bring so many benefits to the area and the surrounding businesses. Plans will be phased so that visitors can continue to enjoy the Ice Bowl and all that it offers during development and so that jobs can be sustained throughout the process.
“I welcome the approval of planning for this project and am excited to see the plans progress.”