‘Mark Two’ New Town – Designated 26 July 1965
The first New Town in Northern Ireland, Craigavon, was conceived in response to the 1962 plan for the Greater Belfast region, and was to be a linear regional town that included the existing towns of Lurgan and Portadown. Today, Craigavon is one of the largest urban centres in Northern Ireland, with around 70% of Craigavon Borough’s population living within Craigavon urban area (which includes Lurgan, Portadown and Central Craigavon). Its designation as a New Town has been a major influence on the scale and nature of its development and has contributed to the emergence of a strong industrial base. A number of political issues, demographic changes, some resistance to planning, and over-provision of housing have attracted some criticism and have led to undeveloped areas within the central area.
- Location: 34 kilometres south west of Belfast.
- 2011 Census population: 61,056 in 24,778 households (of the 61,056, 16,792 live within Central Craigavon, the residential area between Lurgan and Portadown).
- Local authority: Craigavon Borough Council – from April 2015 Armagh-Banbridge-Craigavon Council under Northern Ireland’s new local government arrangements.
- Local Plan status: Craigavon Area Plan 2010 (adopted 2004), The Craigavon Integrated Development Framework (2010) provides a framework for the Craigavon urban area.
New Town designation:
- Designated: 26 July 1965.
- Designated area: 2,456 hectares.
- Intended population: 120,000 by 1981, and 180,000 by 2000 (population at designation: 61,700).
- Development Corporation: Designated to provide a new major base for industry, a new residential settlement to reduce housing and traffic pressures in Belfast, and a service centre to contribute to the regeneration of the south and west of Northern Ireland. The masterplan envisaged Craigavon as a single linked regional city, including Portadown, Lurgan, and the New Town to be developed between them at Brownlow. Development Corporation wound up 1 October 1973.
Figures taken from Craigavon ‘5 minute’ fact sheet – TCPA New Towns and Garden Cities, Lessons for Tomorrow research, available here.
Information about regeneration:
Local museums and archives:
Craigavon Museum Services: https://www.craigavonhistoricalsociety.org.uk/museum.html
Craigavon New Town Archives: https://capturingcraigavon.com/tags/new-town/
Photo credits: Wacko911, Wikimedia Commons