As part of the Village Renewal Scheme eligible villages had the opportunity to update their village plan or compose a village plan if they did not previously have one. As part of this Kinallen expressed an interest in updating their village plan and through this then identified a potential regeneration project.
The outcome of the village plans indicated that there was a lack of a centre in the village of Kinallen; the community felt that there was no “focal point” “in the village. By creating a focal point in the village, young people may be encouraged to socialise and potentially build a sense of community. Kinallen will benefit from environmental improvements/regeneration and residents and visitors will have a sense of arrival using the gateway sign.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council were awarded £98,722.74 through SOAR ABC’s Rural Village Renewal Scheme. The project involved undertaking public realm works at the Katesbridge/ Kinallen Road crossroads and Tullinsky Road.
This included new pedestrian surfaces with decorative concrete and finished with modern granite steps and handrails. There was extensive planting of mature trees and hedging finished off by colourful shrub plants. New outdoor seating was provided along with the integration of an existing memorial seat. This, along with the new Gateway sign, has created a focal point for the community to gather together and feel more connected as well as create a sense of arrival for new visitors. The provision of a new NIE supply point for a community Christmas Tree was also an important aspect of the project to the residents. The environmental improvements have created a greater sense of community within this village.
Having a central focal point within the core of Kinallen will help the village to feel more connected. Outdoor space for informal or casual community use will provide a place for social interaction, encourage young people to socialise, build a sense of community, and build civic pride. It will also improve the aesthetics of the village, people will want to stay in the village and potentially their quality of life may be improved; and the environmental improvements will help to make visitors to the area feel more welcome.