Welcome progress on transformational Meenan Square project

Date published: 03 April 2023

The Executive Office has today welcomed significant progress on a multi-million pound capital project to redevelop Meenan Square in Derry-Londonderry.

Charles Lamberton, Meenan Square Developments, Sharon McCullagh, Department for Communities, Gareth Johnston, TEO, and Sheena McCallion, Chief Executive, Apex Housing Association.

With the support of Urban Villages, Apex Housing Association has purchased the site at Meenan Square from the private sector landowner, Westco Developments (NI) Limited.

The project, to be delivered by the Executive Office’s Urban Villages Initiative in conjunction with Apex Housing Association and Meenan Square Developments Ltd, will see the construction of a mixed-use development comprising housing, a community hub, and essential local amenities. The project will be primarily funded by the Executive Office, supported by Apex Housing Association and the Department for Communities.

The Executive Office Permanent Secretary Denis McMahon said: 

"I am really pleased to see this progress towards the redevelopment of the Meenan Square site. It is a significant step towards the transformation and much-needed renewal of the site, which will bring real benefits to the local community through the creation of a shared community hub, improved access to essential services and the provision of social and affordable housing.

"The Executive Office appreciates the efforts made by all statutory agencies, the landowner, Meenan Square Developments and the local community to get to this important milestone and looks forward to the delivery of this exciting project for the community.”

Sheena McCallion, Chief Executive of Apex Housing Association, commented:

“The regeneration of Meenan Square will be welcome news for many people living locally. We are delighted to be part of such a significant project in the city which will undoubtedly bring huge social and economic benefits. It’s our hope that the development of Meenan Square will go a long way towards creating a more vibrant and sustainable community; whilst fulfilling the demand for great quality social and affordable housing in the Bogside area.”

Charles Lamberton, Chairperson Meenan Square Developments, added: 

“We are delighted to reach such a defining moment for Meenan Square and look forward to working closely with our partners The Executive Office, Apex Housing Association, Department for Communities, Dove House Community Trust and local residents to deliver first class housing, community and retail facilities for this community. This community has campaigned and lobbied for many years to have Meenan Square re-established as the heart of the community returning it to the social and commercial vibrant space it once was. This partnership and investment is a critical step to achieving this."

Following completion of the site acquisition, the project will be subject to a formal planning application, including full public consultation giving the local community an opportunity to share their views.

It is anticipated that the project will commence on site by Autumn 2024.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption: Gareth Johnston, Deputy Secretary, Good relations and Inclusion, TEO, visiting the multi-million pound capital project redeveloping Meenan Square in Derry-Londonderry. Included are (L-R): Charles Lamberton, Meenan Square Developments, Sharon McCullagh, Department for Communities, Gareth Johnston, TEO, and Sheena McCallion, Chief Executive, Apex Housing Association.
  2. The Urban Villages Initiative is a key action within the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy. The programme is designed to improve good relations outcomes and to help develop thriving places where there has previously been a history of deprivation and community tension.
  3. There are five Urban Village Areas, as follows:
    • Derry~Londonderry: Bogside, Fountain & Bishop Street.
    • South Belfast: Sandy Row, Donegall Pass & the Markets.
    • North Belfast: Ardoyne & Greater Ballysillan.
    • East Belfast: Newtownards Road, Grampian Avenue to Bridge End.
    • West Belfast: Colin Area.
  4. Apex Housing Association is the delivery partner and co-funder for the project and will ultimately own and manage the housing units. Once construction is complete, Apex will transfer ownership of the community elements to Meenan Square Developments Ltd.
  5. The project promoter is Meenan Square Developments Ltd, which was established to manage the completed community facilities.
  6. Department for Communities are another key partner, contributing funding to the project. The Executive Office will also be working with Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Department for Infrastructure and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive as statutory partners in this development.
  7. The private sector landowner will retain c10% of the site along the boundary of Westland Street for their own development.
  8. Join us on twitter @urbanvillagesni #ThrivingPlaces

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