Ballyclare town hall to get £40k makeover

In need of a facelift: Ballyclare town hall. Pic by Trevor McCusker
In need of a facelift: Ballyclare town hall. Pic by Trevor McCusker
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Newtownabbey Borough Council has confirmed that it is planning to carry out a programme of improvement works at Ballyclare town hall.

The confirmation came following complaints from local residents about the condition of the historic building.

Pictures which show areas of disrepair on the front of the town hall were posted on the Ballyclare Photographs Facebook page last week, sparking an angry reaction.

“Absolute disgrace how this has been let happen. Council members should be ashamed of themselves,” one post said.

“Town hall is awful looking. Needs a serious facelift,” another contributor added.

Other concerns raised on the page included the state of the interior of the building and the condition of the clocks.

One local man who contacted the Times said: “The building is an unsightly mess. It’s supposed to be the pride of the town, but it’s a disgrace. It’s just being neglected.”

Responding to the criticism, the council has confirmed that it is planning to spend £20,000 on improvement works at the property in 2014/15 and a further £20,000 in the next financial year, depending on costings.

“The council regularly reviews the condition of its buildings and has a planned maintenance programme in place. Due to the time of year and erection of festive lighting, the repair of plaster and external painting of the building is scheduled for March. Should weather conditions prove favourable it may be possible to bring this work forward,” a spokesperson explained.

“Recent flooding in the town has also created issues in the basement of the building and remedial action is already under way. Within the next financial year, planned work includes rewiring of the building and installation of a new heating system,” she added.