Meenan shops update sought by Mullan a year after complex was prioritised as part of £45m programme

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Just over a year after the late Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster announced that the revitalisation of the Meenan Square shops would be one of the priorities of a massive £45m investment across five ‘urban villages’ in the North, local Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan is set to meet civil servants for a progress update.

Ms. Mullan will meet officials at the Executive Office tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss its future plans for the Meenan Square complex close to the Lecky Road Flyover.

The site at Meenan Square.

The site at Meenan Square.

She said: “Tomorrow I will be meeting with the Executive Office to see what can be done to turn this site around and put it back to good use.

“I will also be getting an update on the plans for the Urban Villages initiative across the Bogside, Brandywell, Bishop Street and Fountain areas.

“This time last year Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster visited the Gasyard following the area being designated as an Urban Village by the Executive Office.

“The measure of the success of this initiative will be the regeneration of Meenan Park.”

The ‘Urban Villages’ project grew out of OFMDFM - now the Executive Office’s - ‘Together: Building a United Community Strategy’ of 2013, and last year Mr. McGuinness and Mrs. Foster, promised the Meenan Shops complex would be transformed.

Ms. Mullan said: “It was once the vibrant heartbeat of the Bogside with many local businesses and services. We all know about the demise of the shops complex there over recent years.

“The buildings are in a sorry looking state and has been a magnet for all sorts of anti-community activity.

“It is vitally important that this complex is brought into public or community ownership for the greater good of the community and the residents that live close by.”