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£8 million NI Water Investment in Newcastle to Enhance Local Beaches

01 December 2016 15:50

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick were on site yesterday to view the recently upgraded Newcastle Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW). This visit marks the completion of a major £8m investment at the plant in this popular tourist seaside town, which will deliver an improved standard of discharge to local bathing waters in line with future European Directives.

As well as major refurbishment work at the existing WwTW, a major new extension was constructed which included an additional UV treatment stream and an extensive stormwater storage facility. The eco-friendly “green roof” of the new extension is also a highlight and NI Water’s project team worked closely with architects, engineers and local landscape experts to develop a visually-pleasing design for the roof of the new extension. The roof has been planted out with low-maintenance, native vegetation that will not only provide a natural habitat for birds and insects, but will also present an attractive landscape, which blends in with the scenic harbour area.

Newry, Mourne and Down Council are currently in the process of purchasing the Generator House, which NI Water no longer require at the Newcastle plant following the refurbishment. The Council intend to use the Generator House as a Harbourmaster’s Office and Public Information Point, which will further enhance the Harbour as part of the Council’s Regeneration Plan.

Minister Chris Hazzard said:
“I am delighted to be here today to view the upgraded Newcastle Treatment Works. This major investment is essential to enhance the beautiful Newcastle coastline, as well as protecting our local bathing waters.

“In addition to environmental benefits, this project has also brought economic advantages to the area. Many local construction staff were involved in the project and a host of local building companies and services were used during the construction phase.
 
“I am also pleased that Newry, Mourne and Down Council will be taking over the generator house which will further enhance the harbour area. This will provide a welcome boost both for tourism and the local community.”

Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down Council, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick added:
“Newry, Mourne and Down Council are pleased to view the upgraded NI Water plant, which is essential to protect our bathing waters. The scenic importance of the area was carefully considered throughout the project and the roof of the extension undoubtedly enhances the local landscape.

“The Council look forward to using the former generator house to further enhance and regenerate the harbour area for the general public and growing number of tourists in the area.”

Dermott McCurdy, Head of Wastewater Treatment Capital Delivery said:

“NI Water is committed to protecting the environment and every year we return 1.3 billion litres of wastewater from over 1000 Wastewater Treatment Works across Northern Ireland. The completion of the Newcastle project is just one example of our continued commitment to the environment, enhancing local bathing water quality and ensuring that we meet current and future EU directives.”

The contractor for the Newcastle project was a joint venture partnership between Saintfield-based Dawson WAM and Ovivo from Newry.

Photo caption:

(L-R) Dermott McCurdy NI Water, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick Chairperson of Newry, Mourne & Down Council, Keith Henderson NI Water and Minister Chris Hazzard pictured at Newcastle harbour during a tour of the £8m upgrade at Newcastle Wastewater Treatment Works. NI Water handed over the keys of the generator house to the council, which was no longer required at the Newcastle plant following the refurbishment. The generator house will be used as a Harbourmaster’s Office and Public Information Point, which will enhance the Harbour as part of the Council’s Regeneration Plan.


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