One of the UK’s foremost experts on heritage-led regeneration is to speak at an event organised by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to lay out its strategic vision and plans.
Leonie Oliva, an author of Heritage Works, a report considered an authority on heritage regeneration, will
address an audience at Armagh Palace on Friday, September 28, highlighting the significant opportunity for economic growth in the borough through heritage-led regeneration.
She is currently a Senior Director at commercial property agency GVA and has 25 years of experience advising on complex planning projects and major planning applications for both public and private sector clients.
Earlier this year the council announced an investment of £6.3 million which will transform Armagh’s historic city centre thanks to a major injection of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Led by the Armagh City Townscape Heritage Partnership, this exciting five-year regeneration project will see up to 30 iconic and underused buildings within the city’s protected conservation area brought back into full
productive use, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
Lord Mayor, councillor Julie Flaherty, said: “It will be a real privilege to have Leonie here in the heart of our borough.
“Her expertise on heritage-led regeneration is well known and I look forward to hearing her thoughts on how we can continue to make the most of the great assets we have within the council area.”
Roger Wilson, Chief Executive, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council added: “We remain firmly committed to regenerating the built environment in the borough in a sympathetic manner, so Leonie’s visit is timely.”
The event will also see the launch of a market report by commercial property agents CBRE highlighting the key commercial property investment opportunities in some of the prime investment sites in the borough.
“Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough offers a big draw and huge potential for investors across the island of Ireland, UK and further afield. This independent research will help benchmark the area and offer a fresh insight into the best opportunities in the commercial property market.”
He added: “Armed with that knowledge, we will be well equipped when we head to property investment conference
MIPIM UK this October, where the region’s potential will once again be highlighted to the international investment world.
“We want to continue to positively transform the outlook of the borough and further strengthen our competitiveness on a global stage.”
One of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough’s major selling points is its location, positioned just 30-minutes from Belfast, one hour from Dublin and 45-minutes from Belfast’s two main airports.
Gross Value Added (GVA) in the borough currently stands at £3.6billion, the highest of any council in
Northern Ireland outside Belfast.
Furthermore, there are 8,725 registered businesses already trading in the area which makes up 12% of the total number of businesses in Northern Ireland. These businesses span a number of industries, including manufacturing, agri-food, high tech and life sciences, and range in size from micro start-up to corporate giants.
Most notably is food manufacturer Moy Park, which has been number one on Northern Ireland’s Top 100 Companies list for seven years running and has its European headquarters in Craigavon.
CBRE Capital Markets Director Andrew Coggins added: “It is vital for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, and indeed other councils across Northern Ireland, to carry out thorough research of the prime investment opportunities in their jurisdiction.
“This market report will shine a spotlight on the borough for potential investors and will showcase it as
being ripe for continued future investment.”