Bangor city status: Council plan to invest £74m in redeveloping 2.2 miles of seafront

Ards and North Down Borough Council has offered a reminder that it is progressing ambitious plans to redevelop a 2.2 mile stretch of Bangor seafront.

The Bangor Waterfront Development project, which is costed at around £74m of government and private money, aims to seamlessly connect the waterfront to the rest of the town. The Department for Communities is also leading on a seperate project for the redevelopment of the Queen’s Parade seafront area at the town’s iconic marina.

North Down Alliance MP Stephen Farry hit back at critics who questioned whether the down deserved the city status award.

“Disappointed at the begrudgers today at Bangor’s new City Status,” he tweeted. “Bangor won this in open competition. Only 8/38 applicants were successful. This wasn’t the token one for NI. Two other NI locations were in the competition.”

The Bangor Marina area of Bangor in Northern Ireland. Bangor in Co Down has been awarded city status as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.

Some on social media downgraded Bangor compared to Newry and Lisburn - which were both made cities in 2002.

However the Co Down town - population 61k at the last census - rivals the size of both Newry and Lisburn combined, at 27k and 45k respectively.

DUP MLA Stephen Dunne said the town is a wonderful place to live, visit and do business, with its marina, coastal walks, vibrant independent businesses and excellent schools.

“Bangor also has a proud royal connection down through the years as it has hosted many royal visits, particularly with its strong maritime tradition,” he said.

UUP councillor Craig Blaney added that thw town’s transformation heralds many opportunities.

He added: “As someone who has lived in Bangor my whole life I am more excited than ever about what the future holds.”