District (pop., 2001: 80,671), Northern Ireland. Established in 1973, it lies south of Lough Neagh. In the north it is flat and composed largely of peat soils; in the south it rises to lowlands. It is an important fruit-growing district and also has textile and pharmaceutical industries. Its administrative seat, Craigavon town, engages in light industry and commerce.
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Craigavon is a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, consisting mainly of residential development. It was designated as a new town in 1965 and named after James Craig (1871–1940), the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, whose title was Viscount Craigavon. It was designed as a linear city incorporating Portadown and Lurgan, with two new sectors, Brownlow and Mandeville, in between with a further two proposed for the long term. It is not far from Lough Neagh. Craigavon Urban Area (including Portadown, Lurgan and Bleary) had a population of 57,685 people in the 2001 Census.
It contains the headquarters of Craigavon Borough Council. The borough as a whole has a population of about 80,000. Together with part of the district of Banbridge, the borough forms the Upper Bann constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.
Some of the most striking features of the development include the separation of motor vehicles from pedestrians and cyclists who have their own dedicated path network, use of roundabouts instead of traffic lights at junctions, situation of self-contained shopping centres in each housing area on an evenly-distributed and planned basis, and the total separation of industrial land-use from all other uses. All estates were built with security concerns in mind, with one entry/exit point.
Craigavon was designed as a very child-friendly environment, with numerous children's parks dotted throughout, a lot of green space in the housing estates, and safe paths to cycle on. The new town was also provided with many local amenities, with a leisure centre, shopping centre, civic centre, artificial lakes, playing fields, and even a petting zoo and gardens at Tannaghmore.
Problems began to come to light when it emerged that some large-scale housing areas had been built with materials and techniques that had not been fully tested, with the result that insulation, sound-proofing and durability were not adequate. The area's main employer, Goodyear, had a large fan-belt factory in the Silverwood industrial estate, and at the time it was Europe's largest factory. The plant failed to make money on a consistent basis, and had to close. It also emerged that the population projections for Northern Ireland upon which the project was based were wildly inaccurate, with the result that the planned development was redundant. This was compounded by the outbreak of the 'Troubles' in the late 1960s, with the result that investment into Northern Ireland dried up and emigration increased.
Consequently around 50% of what was planned was never built, and of what was built, nearly half of that had to be demolished after years of lying empty and derelict. It was not uncommon to drive through Craigavon in the early 1980s and see entire housing estates and acres of housing abandoned. The area designated as Craigavon 'city centre', roughly mid-point between Lurgan and Portadown, for much of this time contained the municipal authority, the court buildings, a shopping mall, and little else. Surrounded by greenfield land it became a source of much derision, even from locals. Sectarian tension during this time also resulted in many estates becoming almost wholly Catholic or wholly Protestant.
Critics of single use zoning would find much to criticise in Craigavon where this type of urban planning has been used extensively. Only in the older towns is traditional town planning more prevalent.
The identity of a new city never really caught on. The name 'Craigavon' is today used by locals to refer to the rump of the housing development between Lurgan and Portadown, but the names of the old towns stubbornly live on and so does their identity.
However after many years of development, and increasing house prices closer to Belfast, Craigavon is now taking off. Many of the older housing estates have been demolished, improving the general tone of the area. The introduction of new estates have brought many new people into the area, and the expansion of the Craigavon Shopping Centre (now renamed the Rushmere Shopping Centre) has made it a major shopping destination.
Craigavon has an 800-strong Chinese community, and a high level of racially motivated incidents.
For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service
Yet the most successful club is AFC which means amaligimated football club craigavon and are renown for their excellent stadium which the other teams are found lacking in Lakeview Prk . They currently play in IN Mid Ulster Intermediatte some 5 leagues higher than local rivals Craigavon City although Craigavon is not a city