Politicians have welcomed a £110,000 boost to help businesses in Ballyclare.
Finace for the initiative which will upgrade a number of shops in the town centre was announced on Monday.
The funding was announced by Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA, who said: “This is a good news story for Ballyclare and complements previous regeneration initiatives in the town. This new scheme will further improve the appearance of the area and help maintain the traditional market character of the town.”
The DUP representative added: “In addition to physical improvements there will also be marketing initiatives to directly support the town centre traders and strengthen the local economy’s prospects by raising awareness of what the town has to offer. All of this will contribute to the long-term viability and prosperity of Ballyclare.”
The scheme is being funded by the Department for Communities (DfC) and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
The allocation of money to the south Antrim town was welcomed by the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr John Scott. The UUP representative said: “I am delighted that the Department for Communities has committed £100,000 to the Ballyclare revitalise project to regenerate Ballyclare, with additional funding of £10,000 being provided by the council.”
Cllr Vera McWilliam said: “This will be part of the Linked In Scheme and it is to be welcomed. I am delighted that this investment is on its way to Ballyclare. It will help the appearance of the town. I hope it attracts more shoppers and footfall to the area.”
Cllr Scott continued: “The council welcomes this initiative which builds upon successful regeneration and public realm schemes and aims to support existing town centre traders in the development of their businesses. The renovation of our town centres is a key priority for the council to help sustain and grow vital services to our local community. We look forward to working in partnership with the Ballyclare Linkages Steering Group to deliver this scheme over the coming months.”
Welcoming the announcement, South Antrim MP Danny Kinahan said: “This is great news and represents a significant investment in regenerating the centre of Ballyclare. There have already been very successful public realm improvements to the town with this latest tranche of funding set to be put to work adding to that success. The Department of Communities and Antrim and Newtownabbey Council are to be admired for this initiative.”
Echoing Danny, Steve Aiken MLA said: “Having just recently opened our constituency office on the town’s square I am really pleased to hear this news. Ballyclare is already a fantastic little town with many of the shops and businesses at its heart working hard to maintain the welcoming image people have come to associate with it. This latest funding stands only to further improve and support that good work. I commend the Department of Communities and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council on making this funding available to the town. Ballyclare is a worthwhile investment.”
Cllr David Athurs believes the scheme will make the town centre more attractive. The UUP representative said: “This is welcome news and it is good to see investment coming into Ballyclare. Hopefully more shoppers and residents will be attracted to the area.”
Ald Mandy Girvan said the scheme is pleasing news for the town. The DUP representative said: “Ballyclare can do with the funding. Traders are very happy with the extra help to revitalise their shop frontages. It is a good time for the borough, with other revitalisation projects taking place in Glengormley and Randalstown.”
Commenting on the funding announcement, Cllr Tim Girvan said: “This is good to see and well welcomed. Ballyclare will definitely benefit from this injection of funding which will improve the town. Ballyclare has needed a lot of attention and historically it hasn’t received the attention it needed.”
Ballyclare Progressive Unionist Party representative, Scott McDowell said the investment was a boost for the town. He said: “We welcome this latest investment, especially in the challenging times we are in. Funding like this can only be a good thing for the businesses in the town.”