Glengormley Traders’ Association chairman Ed Burns has hailed the transformation of the town centre as a “massive boost to business”.
Phase one of regeneration work in the town centre is nearing completion.
Over the past few months shops have had new signs installed, 3d-imaging shutters have been put in place and buildings have had new rendering applied as well as a coat of paint.
The work is part of a government-funded regeneration scheme for both Glengormley and Ballyclare.
It aims to improve the look of both town centres in the hope that more businesses set up in the areas and, crucially, more people use them for shopping.
Mechanic Gerry Bradley was one business owner who had new signage installed.
He told the Times: “The work has really brightened up the place and it really does make a difference.
“It makes people think that town is well looked after and that someone cares and hopefully that does go some way to helping business improve.
“I have to pay thanks to Ed Burns and the Traders’ Association for getting this work done.
“This work was raised around 10 years ago and was just talked about, but the Traders’ Association has made it a reality.”
Ed said the work so far has provided a much-needed boost to the town centre.
He added: “It’s a spruce up, but it has transformed the town and improved it.
“People are all talking about the difference this has made and that is only the start.”
He went on: “We have the £650,000 environmental improvement works on the way. Portland Avenue will be transformed to be totally open plan with a pedestrian area and seating which will make the area a real hub for the town centre.
“Then we have the works on the Ferbro Buildings and around the car wash site which will again add to the look of the town.
“We are also continuing to lobby for more funding for phase two of the regeneration works which will extend the improvement works to other businesses around the town which were not included in phase one.”
He continued: “Business is tough and there have been shops close or relocate, but I am very confident that this work, coupled with the ongoing work of the Traders’ Association and the council can bring business back to Glengormley in the long run.”
Recently Newtownabbey Borough Council launched a ‘Shop Local, Save Local’ campaign to promote business in the borough.
It has also organised a ‘Get into Glengormley’ campaign to promote the town centre and has organised a family fun day this weekend to kick off the campaign.
Ed added: “That can only help the town and hopefully it will showcase what the town has to offer.
“It’s a great idea and I hope everyone that can make it does and that they will go on to support their local shop.”