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If you’ve noticed some exciting changes in and around Enniskillen town centre recently, then good news: there are set to be a whole lot more, all thanks to the Enniskillen Masterplan.

Finalised in 2012, the Town Centre Masterplan is a development project that will see major regeneration in the area over the course of 15 to 20 years – and much of the transformation has already taken place.

Commissioned by the Department For Social Development and Fermanagh District Council, the project will continue to breathe new life into the town centre, enhancing its status as a vibrant, tourist-friendly Island town.

Some of the most noticeable changes in the town in recent months have been carried out as part of the Public Realm Scheme – a section of the masterplan that aims to transform street lighting, footpaths, street furniture, and landscaping in The Diamond, Belmore Street, East Bridge Street, and beyond.  

The Masterplan has ten main regeneration goals…

These include: 

  • Retaining Enniskillen’s identity as an island town by developing activities around Lough Erne 
  • Diversifying the town’s leisure, office, and residential offerings
  • Developing Enniskillen’s evening economy.

Add to that there’ll be initiatives to:

  • Ensure accessibility
  • Aid traffic flow
  • Develop Enniskillen’s retail offering and
  • Expand the town’s wet weather activities.

 

Building for better…

According to the official masterplan document, the project is about making good things better and enhancing what makes us special. For example, our thriving food and drink scene, beautiful setting in the Fermanagh Lakelands, and local arts and crafts culture.

Those behind it say Enniskillen is already a relatively successful town, and the masterplan is focused on retaining those things which already work while adding new elements that complement and strengthen our town’s existing social, economic and environmental assets.

“Sometimes this may mean major change being delivered, but sometimes it may simply be a case of maintaining existing quality and ways of doing things,” the organisers note. 

Major regeneration sites include The Buttermarket, which is to be redesigned to allow for events such as Farmer’s Markets, and the Broadmeadow, which could become a ‘festival-type’ space according to proposals laid out in the plan.

New car parking facilities are also expected to be developed on Cross Street and Eden Street,

 

What progress has been made so far?

If you live in or near the town, you will already have seen some of this work being carried out over the past 10 years. In particular, the recent Public Realm Scheme works have seen major changes to town centre infrastructure.

Along Townhall Street, Darling Street, Belmore Street and Regal Pass, you may have noticed improved footpaths, landscaping and the addition of new street lights, trees, and public art.

Meanwhile, as laid out in the proposals, the Derrychara Lagoon has become a hub for water-based tourism with the inclusion of hydro bikes – and Enniskillen Castle has become a hotspot for cultural events too.

Over the years, there have been many initiatives to improve traffic congestion as well.

The Enniskillen Masterplan: what’s happening next?

As Public Realm works continue, we should see new street furniture, signage, tree planting, and additional lighting throughout the town centre.

The Masterplan also mentions redevelopment of the Enniskillen Courthouse, development of the Erne Hospital Public Services Hub, and a residential build on the Jobs & Benefits Office Site.

There’s also significant regeneration happening outside of the town centre too, with a new Retail Park planned for the derelict Unipork site on the Cornagrade Road and a bypass connecting the A4 Dublin Road and A4 Sligo Road en route in 2024.

A detailed breakdown of all 27 of the proposals included in The Enniskillen Town Centre Masterplan can be found here.

A bold new vision for Enniskillen

The overall aim of The Masterplan is to make Enniskillen a people-friendly town that’s full of culture: a place that’s accessible, welcoming and enjoyable for both locals and tourists.

According to the official Masterplan document: 

“Enniskillen 2025 will be a bustling, thriving town with an excellent reputation for high-quality retail and as a premier tourist destination. The town will make the most of its quality townscape, attractive courtyards and alleys, and boast a bold waterfront with a strong recreational emphasis.”

One thing is certain: the future looks bright for Enniskillen.

Stay tuned for more updates on The Enniskillen Town Centre Masterplan on Enniskillen.com.