Donegal County Council in collaboration with BASICC has finalized and published a Regeneration Strategy for Ballybofey-Stranorlar town centres. The Strategy is an exciting and ambitious vision for the town centres setting out key priorities and actions for regeneration up to 2040 and beyond.
The Cathaoirleach of Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District, Cllr Gerry Crawford said “I am delighted to announce the final publication of the Ballybofey-Stranorlar Regeneration Strategy. It brings together all the community ideas and input to the process since the very first consultation event in Kee’s Hotel in November 2019 and provides one vision which showcases the scale of opportunity that exists in the Twin Towns.”
He added, “The publication of this Strategy is our strong statement of how Ballybofey-Stranorlar town centres can be vibrant, viable and attractive places for people to live, work and visit while also functioning as important service hubs for the wider rural community.”
The Regeneration Strategy was prepared by Pasparakis Friel Architects. It includes 42 projects across 7 districts within the town centres including a tree-lined arrival avenue, Main Street public realm, connected walkways and urban greenways, riverside parkland, town centre housing, options for the reuse of vacant buildings and options to open up backlands as examples.
Kieran Doherty, Chairman of BASICC explained ‘We have worked closely with the Council and the wider community in the Twin Towns to co-design the Regeneration Strategy for the town centres. We believe that this publication gives us an exciting vision and lots of projects to progress on a collaborative basis. The people of the Twin Towns are an activated community and this process has helped to stimulate more creative ideas and ambition for the future. We now look forward to continuing to work collaboratively to develop various projects further so as to enhance Ballybofey-Stranorlar to be even better than it is today.”
Liam Ward, Director of Community Development and Planning Services added, “The publication of this Strategy is a key piece of work to guide future projects and future funding applications in the towns. There is clear momentum for exciting regeneration initiatives in the Twin Towns and this will be supported and activated further over the coming months as The SEED Project, funded under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund progresses, providing new civic space, replacement car parking and substantial new enterprise space in the heart of the towns. This investment, together with the future Finn Harps development, the Peace IV multi-sports facility and the ongoing Feasibility Study for Drumboe Woods will help to catalyst other projects that have been identified in the Regeneration Strategy and position the towns as viable and competitive places”.
Ronan Friel of Pasparakis Friel Architects reflects on the process saying, “Ballybofey-Stranorlar is a place full of exceptional assets like the strong community spirit, the natural environment anchored by the River and Drumboe Woods, the extensive heritage in the form of wonderful historic buildings and the interesting history and culture encapsulated by key figures like Frances Brown, Isaac Butt or the Irish geographer and natural scientist, Joseph Barclay Pentland. All of these key assets offer a rich canvas to design creatively for authentic, diverse, accessible and attractive town centres and help to define the unique quality of Ballybofey-Stranorlar. As a result, the Regeneration Strategy provides a masterplan that is bursting with potential and opportunity for the Twin Towns to be even more attractive, sustainable and accessible than they already are. We look forward to seeing the various projects develop and the transformation of the towns as a great place to live, work and visit”.