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Regeneration worth over £1.5M enhances Carrickfergus as a destination town

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Two major schemes of work worth more than £1.5M recently completed in Carrickfergus are helping ensure the historic town continues to attract visitors and potential investors for generations.

The Great Tower at Carrickfergus Castle was officially reopened last month by the Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey MLA, following a £1 million conservation project to construct a new roof on the 800-year-old landmark.

Work on a £660,000 Public Realm Scheme, which included the installation of new footways, lighting and street furniture in the Antrim Street and Lancasterian Street areas of the town, has also been completed.

Meanwhile, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council last month said significant progress has been made on a £38 million investment to regenerate, reposition and rebrand Carrickfergus as a ‘must-visit’ starting point to the internationally recognised Causeway Coastal Route.

Forming part of the Belfast Region City Deal, the project will place the town firmly on the map as an authentic heritage-led tourism hub and part of the wider Belfast Story.

The most recent developments further complement major restoration projects on the centuries-old Dobbins Inn and the former Kelly’s Coal Offices, which date back to 1920, as part of the Carrickfergus Townscape Heritage Initiative, supported by Council and the Heritage Lottery.

Alderman Billy Ashe MBE is a founding member of Council’s City Deal Elected Members Working Group and welcomed the latest investments in Carrickfergus.

“In recent months our officers and elected members have made significant progress in developing a comprehensive Outline Business Case (OBC) for this £38 million investment in the regeneration of the town, setting out a range of important considerations together with the wealth of potential benefits to be derived from the project.

“The completion of the Carrickfergus Castle and Public Realm projects are key components of our commitment to promoting the town as the gateway to the Causeway Coastal Route and delivering for our local residents and visitors, and for the wider economy of Mid and East Antrim.”

Cllr Robin Stewart added: “The town has been given a much welcome facelift with the completion of the Public Realm Scheme through new footways, lighting and street furniture, all of which add to the experience of residents, businesses and visitors alike when they come to Carrickfergus.

“I welcome the collaboration between Council and the Departments for Communities and Infrastructure in bringing the project and that of Carrickfergus Castle to completion and look forward to an exciting future for the town through the City Deal plans.”

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