Architects and Planners on Building Craigavon

Architects and Planners on Building Craigavon

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Armagh, Craigavon, Lurgan, Portadown




Production 01/06/1963


18min 47sec


silent, 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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Interviews with Sir Robert Matthew, Geoffrey Copcutt and others regards planning for the new town between Lurgan and Portadown that would become known as Craigavon. The interviews include discussions on how to create a new town; the intricacies of town-planning and the social and industrial considerations. 

The interviews feature thoughts on the future of building and the replacement of the older, slower crafts for more modern technology. One of the planners foresees centralised vacuum  and heating systems that  would serve the whole town, which would be powered by nuclear power.


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 a n 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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