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£50,000 investment considered to boost night-life across the borough

Market Street, Armagh today

A £50,000 cash investment could see detailed plans drawn up to improve the night-life offering across the borough.

Armagh City has already won Purple Flag status for its night-time economy.

But Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council want to boost a thriving evening economy in the city and main urban centres.

To that end, the council has been awarded £45,000 from the Department for Communities to part-fund the development of a strategy action plan.

Council must decide this week whether or not to accept the offer which would require elected representatives approving a contribution of £5,000 towards the cost of the project.

Councillors, in a report, have been told: “The development of the evening economy is a critical component of the respective masterplans for the urban centres throughout the borough, delivering benefits for businesses, enhancing safety and perceptions of safety and attracting alternative uses for vacant and underused properties and facilities within the city and town centres across the borough.

“The availability of activities and events in the evening is widely recognised as one of the most crucial and powerful economic engines a city or town can have.

“Centres that are more successful in developing and exploiting the evening and night time economy in economic and social terms display a much richer mix of attractions catering for clientele which would change seamlessly over the period between the end of the traditional working day and the late evening/early hours.”

The overall aim would be to attract more people into the city and towns, offering a diverse range of venues and activities through the creation of a five year strategy, supported by six detailed action plans for the urban centres that contribute to their wider regeneration.

The report adds: “The plans will draw together the separate elements of product, customer service and vibrant events and position the evening economy within the context of the wider offering of the borough and the individual urban centres.”

If the £5,000 expenditure is approved  – to take advantage of the Department for Communities – this will lead to the appointment of a suitable consultant to begin work on the strategy.

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