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Mid Ulster

Consultation To Open On £2.5M Public Realm Scheme For Maghera

Mid Ulster District Council is to begin a period of community consultation on plans to develop a £2.5M public realm scheme in Maghera.

Local residents and businesses are being invited to feedback their views on proposed designs for the town centre, which include new paving, street lighting, planting and street furniture, as well as proposals to address substandard footpath widths and poor pedestrian access.

The plans also include options to increase traffic flow on Upper Main Street, via a one-way system or via a two-way system with additional car-parking provided at St Mary’s Church, while an improved junction at St Lurach’s Road and Hall Street is intended to improve access and vehicle turning capacity.

The proposed public realm scheme 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.

A ‘pre-application notification’ (PAN) process has now begun on the proposed scheme, with community consultation opening on Monday 27 September and running for 4 weeks.

A dedicated website will be available with details of the proposed application, where anyone can leave their feedback online, and there will be a public information day on 13 October in Maghera Leisure Centre, from 10am to 8pm, where members of the public can book a time slot to speak directly to the team involved in the public realm designs.

The opportunity to meet virtually with the design is also available on 14 October between 10am and 8pm with slots bookable in advance.

The community consultation opens on Monday 27 September and runs until Friday 29 October.

To view the plans for the project and to feedback your views, visit https://consultationspace.com/MagheraPublicRealm or to book to meet the design team, call RPS on 020 7939 8007or email PACC@rpsgroup.com.

Mid Ulster

Mid Ulster Gift Card Launched Ahead Of Key Christmas Trading Period

A new gift card, designed to ‘lock-in local’ for the key Christmas trading period has been launched by Mid Ulster District Council.

The Mid Ulster Gift Card, valid in over 100 independent and national businesses right across the region, is intended to encourage customers to keep it local when shopping, eating out or enjoying their leisure time, and to boost the businesses in their high streets and main streets at the same time.

The new Mid Ulster Gift card is a ‘win-win’ for customers and businesses, according to Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean:

“Our towns and villages have an unrivalled mix of quality independent retailers, as well as high street names, together with great cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels, and not forgetting the leisure and cultural venues where the card is also accepted.

“That means customers using the gift card have extensive choice and participating businesses help to ensure that we have greater opportunities to lock in spend to the local economy.

“Shopping local to support local companies has never been more important, as our businesses, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors, continue to respond to the challenges of the pandemic.

“Our 100% investment in this project is another strand of our economic recovery plan to ensure we can all continue to enjoy strong, stable and vibrant towns and villages at the heart of our local communities”.

Local businesswoman Sammy-jo Dickson who runs 14th Avenue, a ladies and men’s clothing store in Dungannon, was among the first to sign up to the gift card scheme:

“The Mid Ulster gift card is a great incentive to support your local traders and shop local. This gift card will offer customers the freedom to choose from a great selection of shops and businesses throughout the Mid Ulster area”.

Mid Ulster Gift Cards are available to collect free of charge from Ranfurly House, Dungannon, The Burnavon, Cookstown and The Bridewell in Magherafelt. Customers then upload the amount they wish to add to the card by visiting www.midulstergiftcard.com.

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Mid Ulster

£200K Funding To Improve Access To Leisure And Cultural Facilities

Close to £200K is to be invested in improving access to Mid Ulster District Council’s leisure and cultural facilities.

A total of 11 projects have been allocated funding under the Department for Communities (DfC) Access and Inclusion Capital Programme, which is designed to improve access to and participation in arts and cultural activity and leisure and outdoor recreational activity by people with disabilities.

All 7 of the Council’s leisure and sports centres will have new permanent and mobile ‘hearing loop systems’ installed, with new automatic and power-assisted doors in multiple locations across 4 leisure and recreation sites, including Tobermore Golf Centre, set to improve accessibility for customers yet further.

Greenvale Leisure Centre will have a Pool Pod system installed, giving unrestricted access to both the main and learner pools and ensuring customers requiring hoist access no longer have to pre-book or wait at the poolside.

The Burnavon theatre in Cookstown will use its funding to update its support hearing system and to enhance areas used for workshops and events with adjustable lighting and camera which will be of particular benefit to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sight problems and restricted movement.

The Bridewell Visitor Information Centre will also have existing heavy doors replaced with an accessible system, as well as new permanent and portable ‘hearing loop’ systems.

Outdoors, the funding will bring 10 new accessible picnic tables to picnic areas, parks and open spaces and inclusive play will be improved at the Fairhill play area in Cookstown with the installation of a new wheelchair swing.

Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, Councillor Dominic Molloy, welcomed the funding:

“If we truly want to see all of our residents being able to avail of opportunities to be physically active or to engage in arts and cultural activities and events, then projects like these are crucial to opening up access and building inclusivity.

“I look forward to seeing work starting to create more equitable and inclusive access to the Council’s facilities across Mid Ulster”.

Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey said:

“My Department’s Access and Inclusion Programme is aimed at promoting a more inclusive society by improving accessibility at arts, cultural and active recreation venues for people with disabilities who often have limited opportunities to participate in activities that many of us take for granted.

“The improvements that are being taken forward by Mid Ulster District Council will help to open up these facilities to those with disabilities, providing them with the opportunity to increase their participation at a range of venues.”

All 11 projects are expected to be completed by 31 March 2022.

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