Alliance launches ambitious plan for Bangor Town Centre

Alliance Representatives from Left, Cllr Andrew Muir,
Nico Fell, Stuart Anderson and Gavin Walker launcing
10 Steps Forward for Bangor Town Centre Manifesto
Alliance has launched an ambitious plan for Bangor Town Centre, aiming to secure future investment opportunities, One Unified Plan for Bangor Town Centre and transforming the area into a cultural hub for everyone.

Launched ahead of the local government elections on May 22, the manifesto was developed as a coherent response to views received from residents, businesses and visitors alike – with the goal of taking the town centre to 2020 and beyond.

Showcasing how the Party is stepping forward for everyone in the local community, the impressive strategy includes plans for a business improvement district, opening up use of the old Court House for community use, progressing the public realm initiative.

Nico Fell, a representative for Bangor Central, said: “Alliance wants to see Bangor town centre fulfil its potential and believes it can be a business and cultural hub for everyone in North Down.

“By focussing on attracting investment and securing local businesses, we will ensure our high streets remain attractive places to visit and shop - and at the heart of this is the need to refurbish derelict buildings and revitalise vacant area, including Queens Parade through transparent, open and inclusive partnership process.

But there is also something extra we can offer.  By putting resources into the arts and local heritage we can create a cultural experience for everyone living and visiting the Bangor area.  By opening the old Court House up to the community and exploiting the full potential of SERC Performing Arts and Technology centre we have the facilities and ideas to deliver this.

“And with our plans for an annual cultural night Alliance already secured by Andrew will ensure Bangor becomes a community accessible to all.”

Holywood celebrates Maypole Refurbishment

Holywood celebrated the recent refurbishment of the Town’s historic Maypole on May Day by unveiling a commemorative cake thereby recreating a previous cake cutting event from yesteryear.

Local company Kenley Kakes kindly baked a beautiful cake complete with a Maypole which was then unveiled by me as Mayor alongside the May Queen and all the Maypole Dancers in the Maypole Bar which was first licensed in 1857 and has only ever had three proprietors.

With early maps showing a Maypole standing on it’s current site since the 1620’s I was delighted to take part in this event to celebrate recent refurbishment work with the iconic weather-vane re-appearing on top of the Maypole, as requested by Alderman Ellie McKay. May Day in Holywood is always a special day due to the range of events, stalls and activities taking place made extra special by the Maypole Dancing around Ireland’s only remaining Maypole.

I am truly grateful to Kenley Kakes for providing such an excellent cake which was admired by many. I look forward to enjoying the cake and admiring the newly refurbished Maypole which I hope remains for all to enjoy for many more years.

Whilst the wet weather might have dampened some runners Belfast Marathon experience it didn’t affect those dancing around Holywood's Maypole who endured the wet weather with a smile. It was great to see so many people enjoying the range of stalls, events and activities across the Town with the nearby Folk & Transport Museum also attracting large crowds as they celebrated the Folk Museum’s 50th Anniversary. I remain truly grateful to Holywood District Community Council for the work undertaken alongside Council officers to make the day a success, proving that by Working as One we can deliver a great experience for everyone. Thanks also to the May Queen and the May Pole dancers for helping to ensure another memorable May Day.

Mayor praises modern day Good Samaritans

Volunters at Bangor Castle Town Hall
I opened up the Town Hall on Thursday 24 April 2014 and welcomed volunteers from the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul and Storehouse, the local foodbank to Bangor Castle to recognise the valuable contribution made.

After volunteering for all three organisations as Mayor over the Christmas period and supporting the Christmas Lunch initiative for those in need on Christmas Day at First Bangor Presbyterian Church I was delighted the welcome the volunteers to the Town Hall. The level of commitment given by the many volunteers is amazing and deserving of the highest recognition. We are honoured and privileged to have so many modern day Good Samaritans in our local community showing the Christian faith in action by reaching out and support those in need.

After refreshments and a short speech praising the volunteers work I then facilitated a talk and tour of the historic building.