Granite footpaths installed in Armagh as part of the public realm scheme – which completed six years ago – are to be given a ‘deep clean’ in the coming weeks.
The multi-million pound works across the centre of Armagh saw new paving, seating and tree planting across the city centre.
Further streets were repaved after additional funding allocated by the Department of Social Development in 2010.
But now, for the first time since completion, the streets – many of which have become stained and unsightly as a result – are to be given their ‘as new’ sparkle back with a deep cleaning process.
SDLP Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon has welcomed confirmation from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council officials that the work will take place.
A report on the matter is being presented to a meeting tonight (Tuesday) of the council’s Economic Development and Regeneration Committee.
Councillor O’Hanlon said: “For many months I have been pressing officers to bring forward a scheme to have the footpaths throughout Armagh city centre powerwashed and am delighted that this week council will sign off on the proposal.
“It is hoped that works will be completed before the end of November – just in time for the pre-Christmas rush.
“Since the granite footpaths were put in place the city centre has been transformed. It looks bright and modern and yet it respects some of the city’s famous Georgian architecture.
“Since the scheme has been completed, we have seen traders invest in their businesses and we have seen a large number of new restaurants thought the city centre with many having outdoor areas as well.”
The councillor said that, despite the streets being regularly cleaned, there are areas which have become grubby, greasy and dirty.
“There are areas with lots of chewing gum, food stains, as well as oil and grease,” added Councillor O’Hanlon. “This is a horrible sight and I have been contacted by quite a number of traders throughout the city asking if something can be done to have the streets given a good clean and I am delighted a scheme will be confirmed this week.
“Armagh City – along with Portadown and Lurgan – will all benefit from the proposal, and it will see over 37,000 square metres of footway and streetscape cleaned up.
“This scheme is very much welcome and I would like to see this become part of an ongoing maintenance programme for our city and town centres.
“I have asked that council officials investigate the possibility of this work being carried out overnight. This, I believe, would mean as little disruption as possible to traders along the route.
“This is to be investigated and discussions are to be held with the contractor involved. However, this scheme is very much welcome and I look forward to its completion.”
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