THE long-awaited regeneration of Bangor quayside has moved a step forward after a developer was appointed for the £50 million project.
Consortium Bangor Marine, which includes Co Antrim developer, Karl Group and Belfast building contractor, Farrans, has been tasked with delivering the major regeneration scheme at Queen's Parade.
It comes just two years after Angelvale Consortium, made up of local organisations such as Beannchor, Clanmil and McLaughlin & Harvey contractors, was said to be spearheading the redevelopment.
The multi-million pound project, set to be funded by a mix of public and private sector money, was first mooted decades ago and the latest plans feature a 70-80 bed hotel, a cinema, as well as a mix of housing, office and retail space.
A new public realm scheme featuring events space, a children's play area and a water feature also form part of the plans, along with a 200-space car park.
A 12-week consultation period will now take place in relation to the mixed-use scheme, ahead of the expected submission of a planning application later this year.
Speaking following the appointment of the developer for the scheme, Department for Communities permanent secretary, Tracy Meharg said the project will revitalise the seaside town.
“This development and the £50m investment in Bangor will generate new jobs, new shops, new offices, new homes and make this area of Bangor a place to see and visit," she said.
"It will help to support a number of areas that we know are important to the vitality of our town centres, especially employment and tourism. The new hotel and cafés will encourage more tourists to visit Bangor and help to support the retail offering and enhance the evening economy. The new homes will lead to more people living in Bangor again supporting local consumer outlets. When combined with new offices, this development will help to create new employment opportunities and breathe new life back into Bangor.”
Aran Blackbourne, managing director of the Karl Group said the scheme can create the north's "premier public waterfront space".
"The Bangor Marine team are delighted to have signed the Development Agreement to deliver this prestigious and life changing development for the people of Bangor and beyond."
"We are very excited that we can now up the momentum and engage with the public and all stakeholders to help make Bangor reach its full potential," Mr Blackbourne said.
The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Richard Smart added:
“The redevelopment plan represents an investment of £50m in a mixed-use scheme that will deliver commercial and retail premises, a range of housing, a hotel and a family entertainment complex. As such it offers features and opportunities for those who live in, work in and visit our area; and will no doubt attract further investment into the town."