The Old Town Quay project was funded by the EU’s INTEREGG IVA Programme which contributed £277,633 and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, which invested £135,000 and is the latest to be delivered as part of a multi-million investment programme set out as part of the Craigavon Integrated Development Framework.
These include the £1.3 million Community Greenway Project, which has created an attractive seven-mile walk and cycle route from Portadown to Lurgan which is already in use and delivering real benefits for thousands of leisure users and commuters.
Chairman of East Border Region, Cllr Peter Savage “East Border Region are delighted to have been in a position to support the Old Town Quay by investing £277,633 of INTERREG IVA funding through the East Border Region Tourism Development Plan, this is an ambitious cross border project which has enhanced the tourism offering available in our region and is certainly a flagship tourist attraction”.
Complementing the Old Town Quay and Community Greenway Projects, which have been designed to enhance the openness and ease of movement across the area by improving existing linkages and creating greater opportunities for further investment, is a £165,000 plan to redevelop Portadown’s iconic Pump House.
Once complete, the riverfront-based Pump House will benefit from a range of new dining, recreational and business uses. Environmental improvements, including resurfacing, lighting and landscaping are part of the Pump House redevelopment plans, work on which will begin early next year.
Both the Old Town Quay and Pump House developments are part of the Portadown Riversides Project, which is key to promoting the use of the River Bann corridor and access to the river itself, while kick-starting further investment and opening new recreational, tourism and business opportunities in the area. Regeneration of the Pump House is being part funded by the Department for Social Development as part of the recently announced Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Strategic Revitalisation Project.
Marking the official opening of the Old Town Quay project, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Darryn Causby, said:
“With the completion of a number of major developments within or on the periphery of Portadown town centre, as well those also advanced, Portadown is already starting to see the tangible benefits of good design, planning and significant investment which are continuing to enhance the unique relationship between the River Bann and the surrounding townscape and natural environment.”
“These projects reduce the dominance of traffic and improve pedestrian and cycle access throughout the area whilst ensuring accessibility for everyone to enjoy the beauty of Portadown and the facilities it offers, from the tranquility of the River Bann to the buzz of the town centre and beyond.”
Throughout the 1800’s the Town Quay was the centre of commerce in Portadown. Horse drawn carts lined the cobbled quayside to offload materials which fuelled the town’s flourishing industry including coal, grain and sand. Goods were also exported throughout the world and put Portadown on the map for its famous apples, linen and flour. The Town Quay was a hub of activity until the mid-1900s, when the rise of rail and road transport saw the decline in water transport.