Contractor appointed for Portaferry Public Realm Project

Date published: 15 August 2023


The Department for Communities welcomed the appointment of Northstone as the contractor to complete the construction phase of the Portaferry Public Realm Project.

Contractor appointed for Portaferry Public Realm Project

The project sees a £2m investment in Portaferry funded through the COVID Recovery Small Settlements Regeneration Programme, a collaborative approach between the Department for Communities, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the Department for Infrastructure who jointly contributed £26.5m to deliver a programme of projects that have been developed in partnership with local stakeholders and which will deliver measurable benefits for citizens across the country.

The Portaferry Public Realm project will deliver environmental improvements to the core of Portaferry, and will support the regeneration of the local area including:

  • A revitalised Market Square for community use and events;
  • Upgraded surfaces and streetscape improvements; and
  • Amenity lighting, street furniture and planting/landscape design.

Construction will commence in October 2023 with completion expected in the Summer of 2024. 

Welcoming the news, Director of Regional Development Office (DfC) Gerard Murray said:

 “This significant investment in Portaferry reflects the Department for Communities’ commitment to working in partnership with stakeholders to regenerate our city, town and village centres.

“It is a great example of collaborative working between central government departments, Ards and North Down Borough Council and local community stakeholders. The improvements to the streetscape, enhanced linkages to the ferry and Market Square, and the creation of a bespoke events space will transform the look and feel of the heart of Portaferry. This will facilitate a wide range of events all year round and support this much-loved village to become an even more attractive place to live, work, visit and invest.”

Welcoming the news, Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Jennifer Gilmour said:

 “I’m delighted that we have reached this milestone and can announce the imminent start of work on site.  Portaferry is a significant destination for tourism and leisure in our Borough and the Council’s aspiration is to deliver a sustainable and sympathetic improvement scheme that is consistent with the village’s historic character but will also help to future proof it for current and future generations. As a Council we will be contributing over £400K to the project and we are very grateful to the various Departments for their funding support to this scheme. This investment comes at a significant time for businesses in the area as they continue to recover from the pandemic."

Councillor Joe Boyle is the Chair of the Portaferry Steering Group, which has been actively involved in all stages of the design process.  He said:

“We are delighted that this funding has been secured for Portaferry and that it can be used to enhance Portaferry’s status as an historic village and visitor destination.  The focus on quality, with natural stone and the creation of a usable civic space in the Market Square, will make a real difference to residents, businesses, and visitors.

Councillor Joe Boyle continued:

“Having spent nearly 40 years in business within the Square I am mindful of the importance of this area in Portaferry. In recent years there has been significant investment in this location involving commercial, domestic, and Council premises with enhancement and improvements to premises surrounding the Square currently ongoing.

He concluded:

“It is therefore timely to have such a significant improvement and enhancement scheme now being invested in and delivered to Portaferry.”

The public realm scheme will be managed by the Ards and North Down Borough Council.

A scheme information flyer will be delivered to all business and residential addresses within the scheme area over the coming weeks. Contractor Introduction and Scheme Information Sessions will take place 4 September 2023, Market House, Portaferry.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The scheme will focus on improving and enhancing the streetscape and pedestrian linkages. The works will include the Portaferry Market Square, Ferry Street and Castle Street.
  2. The total allocation to the Ards and North Down Borough Council from the Covid Recovery Small Settlements Regeneration Programme is £2,217,000.00
  3. Photo caption: Portaferry 1- Marking the appointment of a contractor for the construction phase of the Portaferry Public Realm Project are (L-R) Stephen Gardiner - DFI Roads, Ryan O'Neill - DfC,  Jamie MacDonald - AANDBC, Gerard Murray - DfC, Ricky Martin - AECOM,  Daniel Dempster - Northstone,  Niall McVitty - DfC,  Mayor AANDBC Jennifer Gilmour,  Chief Exec AANDBC Stephen Reid and Cllr Joe Boyle.
  4. For media enquiries please contact the Department for Communities Press Office
  5. Follow the Department on Twitter @CommunitiesNI
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekend and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

Share this page

Back to top