Work commences on Bishop Street outdoor seating and dining area
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The works are being carried out under the Covid Recovery Revitalisation Scheme, which is supported by funding from the Department for Communities.
The scheme looks at initiatives to revitalise town and city centres emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a range of environmental and infrastructural improvements as well as an ambitious support plan to assist businesses.
As part of the plans, there will be the creation of a temporary public realm space that will enhance the character of Bishop Street, with new outdoor seating and an outdoor dining space that will assist local businesses in the area by attracting increased footfall and providing more amenities for customers to avail of.
The temporary pilot will be in place for an initial trial period of 18 months and forms part of the projects initially launched and consulted on by Derry City and Strabane District Council in 2021 under its Streetlife & Vibrant Places strategy.
The work on the project will take approximately seven weeks to complete and Council have advised that disruption to businesses, pedestrians and traffic will be kept to a minimum during this period.
The Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey said: “The funding my Department has provided through the Covid Recovery Revitalisation project continues to help our towns and cities as they seek to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
"These public realm works at Bishop Street in Derry will provide a welcome boost to the area, providing outdoor dining space where people can socialise and regenerate the area after a difficult couple of years.
"This is another example of the type of interventions that are being delivered through my Department’s funding to meet local need. The Council has worked closely with traders in the development of this particular initiative which aims to attract people back into the area, support local traders and provide a stimulus to the local economy.”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy, said: "This work at Bishop Street is one of a number of initiatives that we are carrying out as part of the Covid Recovery Revitalisation Scheme - looking at innovative and tangible ways that we can support our local businesses as they continue their recovery from the extremely challenging pandemic period.
"We want to instil confidence back into the city centre and attract greater footfall, which includes the promotion of a pedestrian friendly environment within our historic walled city. I would appeal to the public to be patient as work is carried out on these plans and soon enough this area of our city centre will be transformed."
Due to the extension of the pavement as part of the project, a small number of on-street parking spaces will be unavailable, however, there will still be in the region of 450 off-street and on street car parking spaces for use in the local vicinity. Additional accessibility car parking spaces will also be available at Bishop Street car park.