A developer has been appointed for a £50m project to transform Queen’s Parade in Bangor, Co Down.
The proposed scheme to transform the seafront includes the refurbishment of existing commercial properties and creating outside events space, a children’s play area, a hotel, destination/cinema building, retail and restaurant space and a 200-space car park.
Making the announcement, Department for Communities Permanent Secretary Tracy Meharg said: “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.
"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 cafes 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.”
Mayor of Ards and North Down Richard Smart said: “The regeneration of Queen’s Parade is critical to the future of Bangor and to maximising the economic growth potential of the wider borough of Ards and North Down.
"With the appointment of Bangor Marine – a consortium made up of a number of leading companies including the Karl Group and Farrans – we are taking a very significant and exciting step forward.
He added: “Public interest in the plan is high and moving forward there will be a 12-week period of community engagement prior to any formal planning submission being made. This will give the public an opportunity to comment on what is being proposed.
“We look forward to working with Bangor Marine, alongside colleagues from the Department for Communities, to progress the plan and help make Bangor a vibrant, attractive and cohesive place for everyone to enjoy.”
Aran Blackbourne, Managing Director of the Karl Group, said: “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.
"Bangor Marine has been given the unique opportunity to create Northern Ireland’s premier public waterfront space at Queen’s Parade. Bangor is ideally located to be the coastal day out of choice for the growing capital city of Belfast.”