Ards and North Down Borough Councillor Joe Boyle said that the Council Officers have produced a well balanced, challenging yet exciting collective report involving the setting of this year’s rates, producing an ambitious proposed scheme of capital works and improvements across the Borough, whilst maintaining and improving upon an already exceptionally high level of service delivery to rate-payers.
He said: “I am delighted that the Council has agreed to initiate this year the preparatory work on a £1.5m Public Realm Scheme for Portaferry as well as committing to further and future investment of schemes to the area totalling £1.75m that will see significant enhancement of the Car Parking at ‘Exploris’ as well as incorporating an upgrading of the Parklands surrounding this facility.
“This investment which will not only contribute to enhancing Portaferry as an excellent visitor / tourist destination as well as acting as the magnet for attracting many visitors to the location, it will equally contribute significantly to the promotion of all the local economies throughout the Ards Peninsula and wider Borough with rate-payers also benefitting from such improvements. I also welcome the investment of £0.6m into our Village Plans Capital Works whereby many village groups throughout the Ards Peninsula are working continuously to improve their villages.
“I am particularly pleased to see that the Council has agreed to invest £3.25m in 3G Facilities in Portavogie with the other preferred location currently being identified as Portaferry. The provision of 3G facilities in the Ards Peninsula has been the Council’s vision from as far back as 2014 whenever I was a member of the then Legacy Ards Borough Council whereby commissioned reports then indicated the need for such provision.
“This gap in facilities within the Ards Peninsula was further identified within recent further and additional Council commissioned reports such as Sport NI and Strategic Leisure, that given the tremendous sporting interest involving those participating in GAA and Soccer activities along with other sporting activities that there should be facilities to cater for the growing demand for those participating to in all these major and varied sporting activities in the Ards Peninsula… a view backed and supported by respective lead sporting organisations.’
“I look forward to the commencement of both of these facilities in the not so distant future whilst mindfully aware that there has already been a level of works identified and progressed in Portavogie due to previous grant applications reference to the identification of the site in question for 3G facility – current playing facility – and subsequent previous Planning Application having been submitted and approved etc etc.”
Cllr Boyle added: “All areas across the Ards and North Down Borough Council will receive something tangible to their areas or close to their areas and this is good news. For my constituents in my own District Electoral Area (DEA) of the Ards Peninsula they can look forward to future investments of over £6.25m between various projects, something I would place on record my thanks to the elected members for their support and to all of the council officers and staff for their ongoing good work and efforts.”