A New City for Northern Ireland

A New City for Northern Ireland

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Production 17/02/1964


02min 42sec


mute, sound



black and white


Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland under the Archiving Scheme 2


Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Department for Communities, ITV, UTV Archive

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The Minister of Health, Mr Morgan, talks to William McGookin about the development of a new city. The city does not as yet have a name but it would become Craigavon. The plans for the development area are on display at a meeting in Stormont. 


The ‘new town’ of Craigavon, situated between Lurgan and Portadown, was created after the ‘Belfast regional survey and plan’ report written by Sir Robert Matthew was presented to the Northern Ireland government in 1963. Sir Robert proposed the creation of the town to accommodate a growing population and to encourage people to move out of over-crowded areas of Belfast.  

Sir Robert Matthew was an internationally renowned architect and a proponent of the ‘modernism’ style of architecture. Geoffrey Copcutt was an architect out of Edinburgh who designed Cumbernauld town centre. He began working on the Craigavon development but resigned in 1965 criticising the scheme for the dominant role of administrators and the political and religious restraints.  

Craigavon controversies: From its inception, Craigavon was the focus of a number of controversies including disagreement over its name (it was named after Sir James Craig) and location – with Nationalist politicians decrying its location near Belfast rather than in Derry where it was felt it was more needed. The start of the Troubles in 1968 meant the plan to link Portadown and Lurgan was not completed.


An Ulster Television Production.



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