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Ards And North Down

Minister Announces Revitalise Funding for Ards and North Down

“Together, the initiatives delivered through these separate investments are providing valuable assistance to our town centres.”

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced her Department is investing £224,000 into a series of regeneration initiatives across the Ards and North Down Council area.

The work is underway and is being led by the Council.  The works are being funded through the Department’s business as usual regeneration programmes with local councils and includes new lighting, portable events infrastructure and enhancements to the business support website for the area.

Minister Hargey stated: “This investment is a further example of the support my Department provides so that practical measures can be put in the place to support our town centres.  It is a difficult time for our town centres and we all hope there are brighter days ahead.

“In addition to my Department’s usual regeneration activities, I have also sought to support our high streets and town centres through the pandemic via the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme which has seen an allocation of £1.8m to the Ards and North Down Council area.  The funding through this programme has supported a wide range of schemes including business adaptations, public realm improvements and street coverings.  

“Together, the initiatives delivered through these separate investments are providing valuable assistance to our town centres.”

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, said: “It is a testament to the strength of the Council’s partnership with the Department for Communities, that together we have been able to work on a recovery plan that will encourage residents and visitors to each of our five main towns as we continue on the pathway to recovery from Covid-19.  This funding will greatly enhance the facilities in our towns and help make these areas more vibrant and attractive for all.  Our business website has been a great resource for local SMEs during the pandemic, providing information on various government support schemes, as well as tailored advice on recovery issues, these improvements will enhance further our ability to serve the business community.”

Ards And North Down

Veterans Parade Returns to Newtownards on 24 September

Band, Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment. Photo Credit: Ian Pedlow

A parade led by the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment, supported by Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, will form part of the annual Veterans Evening in Conway Square, Newtownards, on Friday 24 September at 7pm.

The event will be hosted by Ards and North Down Borough Council, in partnership with the Royal British Legion, and will recognise the invaluable contribution of men and women from across the Borough who served their country, both at home and abroad.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, said:

“We have many serving and past members of the Armed Forces living in the Borough. This annual event pays tribute to our veterans and it is a time to remember those who served, sacrificed and fought for our freedom. I look forward to the event and hope that many of our residents will line the streets in support of our veterans.”

Starting from Court Square at 7pm, the band will follow a route to Conway Square (via Court Street and South Street) where it will be received by the Lord Lieutenant of County Down.

A Beating Retreat ceremony, with a colourful cavalcade of military music, tradition and precision drill, will then take place, with Royal British Legion veterans parading alongside members of the many regimental associations from the Borough and beyond.

The band will follow a return route from Conway Square to Court Square via High Street, Mill Street, Gibson’s Lane, Regent Street, Frances Street, Castle Place and Castle Street.

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Ards And North Down

‘Chatty Bench’ Installed in Bangor to Tackle Loneliness

Hester Kelly (Good Morning Call Volunteer) with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, and Dorothy Beattie (Manager, AGE North Down & Ards) on the Chatty Bench in Bangor Castle Walled Garden. Photo Credit: Ian Pedlow

Ards and North Down Borough Council has placed its first ‘Chatty Bench’ in the beautiful surroundings of Bangor Castle Walled Garden.

Designed to help tackle loneliness and support positive mental health within the community, Chatty Benches are popping up all around the country to provide a place for people to come together, chat and connect.

After more than a year of social distancing, the brightly coloured bench is designed to attract attention and encourage people to talk to each other.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, said:

“Chatty Benches are an excellent initiative to tackle loneliness in our community. They provide designated places that encourage people to meet and talk, even if they don’t know each other. The Council will soon install a second bench in Newtownards’ Londonderry Park, so if you feel like you want to chat with someone, simply take a seat on a Chatty Bench.”

Bangor Castle Walled Garden is an award-winning park that holds a prestigious Green Flag Award. It is a popular destination with residents and visitors to the Borough.

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