Councillor McCandless has welcomed and applauded the “common sense decision” agreed at full council in relation to the Market Yard being utilised as a car park with potential for multi function events space.
The Coleraine Councillor said : “In August I was calling for one of Coleraine’s most historic sites to be transformed into an artisan market area. The former livestock market built in 1829 has lain derelict and unused for over 30 years.
“The decision at full council on 27/9 to convert Market Yard to a car park will be the initial step in realising that and we all need to understand the potential which we have in this asset.
“Five options had been presented to the Environmental committee at the beginning of Sept. on the rationalisation of car parking at Terrace Row, Market Yard and Waterside.
“The vast majority of Councillors voted for option 5 which was to terminate the lease on Terrace Row car park, convert the Market Yard to a pay and display car park and change Waterside car park to a free car park.
“The space at Waterside has similar parking capacity to Terrace Row thereby affording a ” quid pro quo ” Terrace Row was costing Council £36K per year + maintenance + cleaning costs – it was never a FREE car park.
“Making Waterside a free car park will assist with rejuvenation of the commercial life in Waterside and maintains the status quo in free car parking in the town.
“The potential emanating from Market Yard is what needs to be grasped and understood. The remaining area can be used for a multi function events space. This could be developed as an artisan food and craft fair which could become a rival to St. George’s market in Belfast.
“We need appealing attractions in Coleraine to increase the footfall and extend the commercial heart of the town.”