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Major plans being drawn up in exciting next step for Portadown Riversides project

A competitive tender process has started to find a tenant for the new cafe and restaurant in the recently-restored Pump House in Portadown.

And Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is hoping to lead further developments in the area to improve the riverside setting, with further exciting plans to enhance the area for future generations.

The Pump House – built in 1929 as part of a drainage system for the town – has been totally transformed and restored as a cafe/restaurant, capable of accommodating in the region of 30 diners at a time.

Councillors have now been given an update on the current plans for the area.

A total of £50,000 has already been committed to the further development of the Portadown riversides project, including securing an integrated consultant team to develop design information and carry out an economic appraisal.

The council’s head of regeneration, in a briefing to the economic committee this week, explained: “This work will build on outline design concepts already prepared, which identify a series of physical interventions to improve the quality of mainly council-owned lands adjacent to the River Bann on the edge of Portadown town centre.

“The project would also enable completion of a second phase of works at Old Town Quay and further improvements at the site of the Pump House – works are now complete at the Pump House and officers are working to secure a tenant via a competitive tender process.

“The capital plan indicates a council contribution of £1.78 million to deliver the project, and officers have been exploring other potential sources of funding, including the Department for Communities and the Heritage Lottery Fund support, to further develop the heritage interpretation elements of the scheme.”

“Officers are finalising terms of reference with a view to appointing an integrated consultant team during spring.

“The team will prepare detailed design information and an economic appraisal and, subject to council approval to proceed, will continue through the statutory approvals process before appointing a lead contractor.”

Subject to funding, it is hoped work will begin before the end of the next financial year and be completed in 2018/19.

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