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Newry groups will oppose Civic Centre plans for Albert Basin

March 21, 2016

Local voluntary groups in Newry have warned that they will oppose any plans by the Council to build a new multi-million pound Civic Centre at the city’s Albert Basin site.

It is understood that Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has hired consultants to help identify a site for a new state-of-the-art facility as the current Monaghan Row base does not meet space requirements.  It is expected that consultants will look at a number of potential locations including the council-owned Albert Basin which it attempted to sell 6 years ago for £10million.

Voluntary groups, Newry Maritime Association, Newry 2020 and Newry Urban Sports have all said they will oppose any such plans, and have called for the site to be transformed into a green recreational space for the public.   The groups are urging the council to turn the site into a sprawling “central park” for the city which would be used for recreational and social purposes., The Newry 2020 group have pointed out that Newry is the only city in Ireland without a city centre park and have cited research which shows that access to green space is critical for the health and well-being of children and older people. The group say they have received huge support from local groups and individuals for its green space vision and say the Albert Basin site is the only viable location in the city for a central park whereas there are numerous locations to house a new Civic Centre.

The group have called on elected representatives to protect the site as a shared space for the people of Newry and are urging individuals to show their support by adding their signature to the online petition launched last year at http://change.org/p/newry-needs-a-central-park.

Meanwhile the Council say the civic centre project is in its infancy and that progress reports will be tabled at future Council meetings for consideration.

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