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This Thursday, 14 October at the monthly Strategy, Policy and Resource Council meeting the Albert Basin Park is once again firmly on the agenda. 

Like all other meetings that have come before it could just possibly be the groundbreaking meeting so desired by everyone in Newry ... or it could be another false dawn.

At a meeting of the Newry City Centre Regeneration Programme Board 24 September, Councillors Roisin Mulgrew and Pete Byrne proposed that a report be brought to the October SP&R meeting to include costings, timeline, concept proposals and seek approval for a mapping exercise to be carried out on the Albert Basin site. It's believed that documents at Thursdays meeting will cover at least some of this.

Stand Up and Have Your Voices Heard

Meanwhile a public rally has been organised for later this month in support of the Park. The public protest comes at a time when progress has been extremely slow but the public have not been slow in speaking their minds on social media.

The rally announced by Unite the Union is entitled 'Newry is Ready - Build The Park' and is planned for Saturday 23 October, 3pm at Marcus Square, Hill Street, Newry.

Announcing the rally on their Facebook the Union said 'For too long the wishes of the people have been denied by senior Council officials and elected representatives at NMDDC. Enough is enough. Stand up and have your voices heard."

Out of the Public's View

As before all discussions on the park agenda items at Thursday's SP&R meeting are being held in committee, and not open to the public or press (In fact out of 13 agenda items on Thursday just ONE is in public!) Direct Albert Basin items involve documents called 'Albert Basin City Park', Albert Basin Proposed Phase 1', 'Albert Basin Proposed Concept Layout' and 'Albert Basin - Programme'

Possibly even more importantly, understand that an application for substantial funding for the park may be seen on the night.

If funding is eventually sourced it would have the potential of moving the project on significantly, but it remains to be seen if the other documents being discussed will contain any new information, ie a new timeline or new costings!

A repeat at the meeting of the formerly announced 8 year timeline and £30.2 Million costings for the Newry park would still ensure that there wouldn't be a park any time soon!

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