Self catering accommodation Newcastle County Down, Northern Ireland

Newcastle promenade walks off with award

Belfast Telegraph Thursday, March 22, 2007

By Victoria O'Hara

Newcastle Promenade this week scooped a top UK design award.

Down District Council has been awarded the prestigious Public Realm Award during the National Awards evening for its Newcastle Promenade scheme.

The project, which scooped the accolade on Tuesday in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, had previously received a highly commended nomination in the Belfast Telegraph Property Development Awards for Public Sector projects last year.

The design philosophy of the Newcastle public realm scheme was to produce a project which reconnects the town with its natural environment.

The scheme started in January 2005 with the main area reopening that December.

A new wave return sea wall was built one metre above the former level of the promenade and the gardens were raised to reunite the shore with the street.

A major hidden expense was the innovative curved sea wall defence which will protect the town from winter gales which formerly resulted in regular flooding in the Main Street.

Councillor Willie Clarke, Down District Council's chairman, said: "This is a tourism project but many local people have told me how much they enjoy the new promenade and we hope to make steady progress on the rest of our ambitious plans."

 

Newcastle Promenade Wins National Civic Trust Award

21 March 2007

Last night (Tuesday, 20 March 2007) at the National Awards evening in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, Down District Council was awarded one of the highest design accolades in the United Kingdom. The Newcastle Promenade won the prestigious Public Realm Award!

The Newcastle Promenade scheme opened to widespread acclaim last May and has garnered a number of awards including a highly commended nomination in the Belfast Telegraph Property Development Awards for Public Sector projects late last year.

The Civic Trust was founded in 1957 to encourage high standards of planning and architecture and they are particularly concerned with the design quality of the built environment and its impact on people. The independent, national organisation with charitable status is the umbrella body for over 800 civic societies, representing over 250,000 individuals committed to improving and caring for places where people live and work. The Trust works with people to promote thriving towns and villages, developing dynamic partnerships between communities, government and business to deliver regeneration and local improvement.

The Civic Trust Awards, running since 1959 on a two-year cycle, recognise the very best in architecture, urban design, landscaping and public art; they are awarded to projects of the highest quality design, but only if they are also judged to have made a positive contribution to the local environment – and helped improve the places where we live.

The design philosophy of the Newcastle public realm scheme was to produce a scheme which reconnects the town visually, physically and socially with its natural environment. The Scott Wilson (formerly Ferguson McIlveen) design team were, Catherine Adams, Gordon Clarke and Richard Nicholl.

This design is also about reprioritising pedestrians, with generous paths, pavements, crossing points and ramps at easy gradients. Broad sinuous steps form a central feature to the scheme but the ramped access is very much integrated into the design of the area. Both stepped access and ramped access is possible to the beach so the beach feels integrated to the seating areas. This accessibility will be carried forward into the streetscape with more space for people and pleasure and reclaiming space for people to stroll or enjoy a pavement coffee.

Work is well advanced, aimed at renewing Newcastle, from the sea-shore to the building line, creating a “beacon of quality” in the most important public space in the town, and allowing restaurants and bars the opportunity to spill out onto the pavement and fully exploit the majestic views.

The objective behind this comprehensive plan for Newcastle has been the reinstatement of quality and the encouragement of new private investment in the town.

Councillor Willie Clarke, Down District Council’s Chairman and Newcastle native is delighted with the news:

“This is boost to all the hard work to bring new prosperity into Newcastle. This is a tourism project, but many local people have told me how much they enjoy the new promenade and we hope to make steady progress on the rest of our ambitious plans.”

Commenting on the objectives behind the scheme, Sharon O’Connor, Director of Development with the Council commented:

“The Promenade project is part of an ambitious Council led scheme to re-position Newcastle as Northern Ireland’s key activity resort. The objective behind this comprehensive development plan for Newcastle has been the reinstatement of quality and the encouragement of new investment in the town. The ambitious scheme, which features internationally commissioned public art, is big and bold complementing the powerful landscape dominated by Slieve Donard mountain.”

The scheme started in January 2005 with the main area reopening Christmas 2005. A new wave return seawall was built one metre above the former level of the promenade and the gardens were raised to reunite the shore with the street. A major hidden expense was the innovative curved sea wall defence which will protect the town from ravages of winter gales which formerly resulted in regular flooding in the Main Street.

The remainder of the scheme which consisted of the new bridge over the Shimna River and access to the town and beach was completed and opened officially on May Day. An international Art competition was used to commission two signature pieces of public art, “The Globe, return journeys” and “The Cone of Light”.

The first phase of the budget for the project was £4.2 million. It came in below budget and on programme.

The second phase will complete the promenade to the Slieve Donard Hotel and this will be accomplished by May this year.


The first phase of the £4m promenade scheme opened on Friday 23 December 2005. Phase I, the largest and longest phase of a three part project, opened ahead of schedule, thanks to the good weather this autumn.

Mr Winston Reid, Building Services Manager is delighted to see the first phase opened, and he said, “Phase I runs from the edge of the Tropicana along to the Glen River. We have raised the level of the promenade, removed the wall between the promenade and the street, improved the level of the sea defences with a new wave wall, improved the access to the beach for everyone, as well as enhancing the appearance of the area with flowerbeds. However, I would appeal to the public to keep of the grass in order to give the grass time to knit between now and Easter. The fences around the flowerbeds are temporary and will come down”.

The complete project is scheduled to be finished in time for the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Rock, Newcastle

A MAJOR improvement scheme at Black Rock, on the southern approach to Newcastle, has been completed.
The £40,000 Department for Social Development-funded project, at the point linking Central Promenade and South Promenade, provides a new viewing area, upgraded pathways, seating and fencing.
Down Council chairman Carmel O’Boyle hopes the improvement “will bring back some of the old nostalgia that local people and visitors enjoyed whilst walking along the shoreline.”
She stated: “The Council also has plans to enhance the main road through the town. These developments will provide a much more attractive environment and encourage more people to take advantage of the facilities offered in Newcastle.
“We are delighted with the improvements to the Black Rock, and are grateful to DSD for their financial assistance with the scheme.
“This area can be enjoyed by everyone, as the new improvements provide access from the harbour side for people with disabilities.”
The completion of the refurbishment work was also welcomed by Newcastle Councillor Willie Clarke, who described it as a “significant improvement.”
“I should like to commend the contractors, who have done a first class job,” remarked Cllr Clarke.
“I will be seeking additional funding for the erection of new lighting, which is badly needed.”
Both Councillors praised Down Council officers Mark Bridges and Winston Reid for progressing the scheme.

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