ABC Council helps fund new alfresco dining area at Craigavon retail hub

An independent and locally owned Centra store in Craigavon opens new picnic area thanks to nearly £18,000 of grant funding from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 1:00 pm

Launched last summer by ABC Council in conjunction with Department for Communities and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, the Covid-19 Revitalisation and Recovery Grant Scheme offered local businesses the opportunity to apply for financial assistance of up to £20,000 to address some of the operational challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Securing the grant in October 2020, the Lake Road retail business set to work on exciting plans to extend their already wide-ranging provision by creating an outdoor seating area. With six new picnic tables, the new area provides a Covid-19 secure environment for customers to enjoy the store’s large food and drink selection as safely as possible.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr, said: “It is great to visit Lake Road Centra and see first-hand the positive and practical impact council’s Covid-19 Revitalisation and Recovery Grant Scheme is making in the borough. It cannot be over stated how turbulent and challenging the past 16 months have been to the borough’s businesses - with many more complications and considerations still ahead for some. As a council, we are committed to doing all we can to support our local economy and help local businesses move towards new models of service, enhance their capacity to serve customers and continue to operate safely within government guidelines.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr and Lake Road Centra proprietor, Thomas Greene

Opening their doors back in July 2018, the 2,900 square-foot convenience store offers everything from hot and cold food and drinks to household grocery products and a fuel forecourt.

Lake Road Centra proprietor, Thomas Greene, explained: “The past year has been so difficult for all businesses but the grant has really enabled us to ensure our customers are well catered for in a safe and welcoming area. It has certainly added to our footfall and has received so much positive feedback already.”

Receiving 1,000 applications, the Covid-19 Revitalisation and Recovery Grant Scheme has invested over £1.1 million into local rural and urban businesses to date - awarding 125 grants to help fund projects and equipment to support safe trading and social distancing requirements.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, added: “My Department introduced the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme to support the recovery of our towns and city centres post pandemic. Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has received over £2.2 million through this programme and I hope that funding initiatives such as this alfresco dining area at Centra on Lake Road Craigavon will encourage people back into our towns and city centres to spend time in a safe environment and support our local businesses and ultimately help to keep our town and city centres safe, alive and prosperous.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Thank you