A delegation from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has met with the Minister for Social Development, Mr Mervyn Storey MLA at Stormont.
The Council delegation welcomed the opportunity to meet the Minister in order for elected members to outline the importance of future Urban Regeneration and Community Development initiatives across the new council area.
In particular, the necessity for the development of the Lagan Bank Quarter Scheme was highlighted.
This is a strategic scheme and of regional significance, which involves the regeneration of the Laganbank Quarter area of Lisburn City Centre. Enhancing the City’s regional role as a gateway point in Northern Ireland, whilst strengthening development opportunities around the River Lagan.
The new Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, which became operational on 1st April, has a number of additional powers to administer.
Significantly enhanced Regeneration and Community Development powers will pass from the Department for Social Development to councils in April 2016 and the meeting with the Minister focused on the transition arrangements and transferring budgets for these key functions.
Funding was high on the agenda, as, following recent budget cuts across all NI Executive Departments including DSD, the Council was keen to seek confirmation of the transferring Regeneration, Tackling Disadvantage and Community Development budgets in order to provide a sound basis for the Council’s financial planning and programme delivery going forward.
The Council is currently working with the Department on four major regeneration projects in Lisburn & Castlereagh and delivers the local Community Support Programme including community development programmes and support for local advice services.
The delegation was led by the Mayor, Councillor Thomas Beckett. “The Elected Members, Chief Executive and Director, are very grateful to the Minister for listening to our views, our concerns around funding and our plans for a range of programmes and projects which we are anxious to ensure progress on,” he said. “We have a number of agreed regeneration and revitalisation projects across the new Council area, including projects in Carryduff, Dundonald, Hillsborough and Moira in addition to Lisburn City Centre.”