As part of the ongoing commitment to urban regeneration, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are in the design stages for an extensive Public Realm Scheme for Banbridge Town Centre with an estimated investment of approximately £5.5million from DfC and Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
In This Section
The proposed Public Realm area encompasses Newry Street, Bridge Street, Downshire Bridge (The Cut), Scarva Street, Linenhall Street, Victoria Street, Old Kenlis Street, Railway Street, Downshire Place Link, Church Square, Castlewellan Road, Bann Bridge and Dromore Road.
The Banbridge Public Realm scheme aims to improve the quality and connectivity between streets and car parks, create better pedestrian linkages from and to the carparks, improve accessibility in the town centre and create attractive civic spaces thus providing a unique sense of place. The scheme will focus on creating a safe streetscape that focuses on secure pedestrian circulation and accessibility for all, whilst preserving and enhancing the character of the town centre. These works will be delivered in two phases with construction works on Church Square and the entrances to Castlewellan Road and Church Street delivered as Phase 2.
It is anticipated these enhancements will include; resurfacing of the existing footways, hard and soft landscaping, aesthetic improvements to both the Downshire and Bann Bridge, street lighting, street furniture, new civic space, improvements to pedestrian crossings, improved street parking arrangements, introduction of smart technology and bespoke features.
A Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) was submitted to ABC Planning Department in December 2020 (reference LA08/2020/1527/PAN). Community Consultations will follow in early 2021 in advance of a Major Planning Application.
The council have committed £115,000 and have secured funding of £100,000 from DFC to lead the revitalisation of one of the Craigavon Footbridges.
The bridge which links the City Park/Craigavon Civic Centre to Rushmere Shopping Centre plays a key role in connecting residential, leisure and retail areas. The interventions will bring the bridge back to life transforming it into a contemporary modern bridge.
The following interventions are planned;
- Bridge gateway (entrance feature, surface treatment, illuminated bollards, lighting)
- Bridge resurfacing
- Replacing new railings including parapet and strip lighting
- Existing woodland thinned, and under planted with bulbs
- Proposed new planting or ornamental shrubs/trees
The project is intended to promote pedestrian and cycle movement within Central Craigavon, whilst contributing to a sense of arrival to Central Craigavon.
A design team has been appointed to fully design the bridge, it is hoped that the construction works will start in March 2017.
The Project cost is £1.4m, made possible by funding by Department for Communities with additional funding provided by Department for Infrastructure and the Council.
As part of the ongoing commitment to urban regeneration, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council will be delivering the next stage of the Dromore Public Realm Scheme. The Scheme will provide high quality improvements within the Town Centre Conservation Area which includes outer Market Square, Bridge Street and Church Street.
The Scheme aims to enhance the streetscape and offer quality design, utilising natural materials with bespoke details to reflect the town’s unique history and conservation area designation. The Scheme will introduce new pavement treatments, lighting, enhanced shared space, street furniture, signage and decorative features designed to complement the previous works at Dromore Town Hall in the central area of Market Square.
The Scheme has been subjected to an Equality Screening exercise and a Rural Needs Impact Assessment was also completed. The outcome of this screening exercise indicates no adverse impacts on Equality of Opportunity or Good Relations under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.
Works commenced on the Dromore Public Realm Scheme in the week commencing 22nd June 2020 and are anticipated to complete in Spring 2021 .
FP McCann Ltd, a company with extensive experience in completing Public Realm Projects of this size and scale throughout Northern Ireland, are carrying out the works on behalf of the Council. Whilst the scheme is a civil engineering project, the work will be carried out in phases to minimise disturbance to businesses, residents and customers as set out at the ‘Meet the Contractor’ event held on 26th February 2020 in Dromore Town Hall.
- The town centre will remain open for business
- Pedestrian access will be maintained to all properties
- Parking will be restricted adjacent to the work area to facilitate construction and maintain pedestrian and traffic flow
- Specific streets, or part thereof will be closed to traffic temporarily during works. Relevant traders and stakeholders will be notified in advance.
If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact FP McCann Public Liaison Team:
- Trader Liaison Officer Aaron Fleming (028 7964 2558)
- Public Liaison Manager Rebecca Henderson (028 7964 2558)
- 24hr emergency contact number 02879549090 (Dromore Option) available once works commence
- Visit the contractors Site Office in the Town Centre- 11A Church Street (former Ulster bank-1st Floor)
- Email your queries to
We are immensely proud that, in official partnership with WarnerBros./WarnerMedia Consumer Products, Linen Mill Studios® Banbridge is creating the world’s only permanent licensed Game of Thrones® visitor attraction and the only Game of Thrones® licensed activation in Northern Ireland, putting our town on the world stage. With visitor numbers expected in the hundreds of thousands, we have been working hard to make sure the place and the people are ready for the incredible opportunity this facility represents when it opens. Ultimately our aim is to try to make Banbridge so attractive that visitors have a great time, stay longer, spend more, recommend it and ultimately that they return.
Since 2018, we have been working closely with commercial organisations (both local businesses as well as global companies such as HBO) and statutory agencies to prepare Banbridge for the exciting opportunities presented by the upcoming Game of Thrones® Visitor Attraction at Linen Mill Studios® on the outskirts of the town.
Significant time and money is being invested in the area to ensure the town looks its best and that the potential for local business is maximised.
One of the keys to unlocking the potential of the new site is establishing links between the new facility and the town centre. Because the attraction and the proposed park-and-ride facility located out of town, it is imperative that the infrastructure and plans are put in place now to establish links to the town centre so that local businesses can capitalise on the new international visitors as soon as the new centre opens.
Find out more about what ABC council has been doing to prepare Banbridge for the new opportunity here.
Vision statement for Game of Thrones Studio Tour®:
“To create a ‘World Class’ Game of Thrones Studio Tour® that is a ‘must see must do’ visitor attraction on the island of Ireland which enables visitors to capture the magic of the series in one of its foremost filming locations.”
Banbridge’s Vision in Numbers
- £23.7m Game of Thrones Studio Tour®
- 10,000m2 interactive visitor attraction
- 200 construction related jobs
- 150 new jobs in the facility
- £10m capital cost generating over £5m construction related salaries
- £3,907,800 in annual salaries for the Studio Tour staff
- £82,650,000 projected contribution to the visitor economy
- £400m projected tourist spend by 2030
- 600,000 visitors every year from all around the world
Making an entrance
With Banbridge’s strategic location on the A1 corridor, it is expected that international visitors to Ireland will visit the Game of Thrones Studio Tour from all parts of the island, so we are investing significantly in our ‘arrival points’ so that the very best impression of the area is given, from whatever direction you might arrive. We’re also improving signage so that visitors can see where they are and find their way around easily.
Preparing for a global audience
We want traders to be able to benefit from the Game of Thrones link, so we arranged bespoke training on a range of topics including intellectual property, customer service and merchandising all aimed at an international audience.
With the park-and-ride for the Studio Tour based outside the town, we’ve been working with the Department for Communities and Department for Infrastructure on a new dedicated coach park facility in the former tennis courts (off Commercial Road) in the town centre so that tour operators and coaches can drop passengers off for a few hours to make use of local retail and hospitality before or after the Studio Tour.
Dressing to impress
We’ve put structures in place so that the town will be fully “dressed” for special occasions and events such as Easter and Christmas, as well as council events such as Buskfest and the Food & Cider Festival.
To bring it all together and make the town centre more accessible and connected we’re investing around £5.5m in public realm works in Banbridge with work due to start in Spring 2022 (subject to planning). We’ve also worked with the Department for Infrastructure on plans to realign Commercial Road into Downshire Place and create a new event and civic space.
A new look
Banbridge Chamber of Commerce and the traders within Banbridge town centre have been working with us to shape an exciting new brand identity for the town centre that will reflect the step change the town is undertaking. The brand is due to launch in Autumn 2021.
We’re supporting Linen Mill Studios and Southern Regional College to make sure students and alumni of the college are able to take advantage of the full range of new job opportunities from the development, from tour guiding to marketing and social media, retail and hospitality.