GLENGORMLEY traders’ representatives welcomed a major funding programme for the town this week.
At last week’s council meeting a contractor was appointed to carry out work on improving Portland Avenue as part of a major environmental improvement scheme.
The work is part of a large scale improvement programme which will see close to £1million spent on Glengormley in the Portland Avenue, Ballyclare Road, car wash and Ferbro Buildings area.
Around £650,000 has been earmarked for major public realm works, environmental improvements and town landscaping, while another £150,000 has been set aside for new 3D shutters to be installed, new signage, shop front painting and a marketing campaign.
The money is being provided from both the Department of Social Development and Newtownabbey Borough Council and is part of an improvement programme in both Glengormley and Ballyclare.
Ed Burns, chairman of the Glengormley Traders Association incorporating the Glengormley Chamber of Commerce said the work was a start to improving the ailing town centre’s fortunes.
He said: “This is just a start, we know that there are tough times ahead of us and that this will not - on its own - bring more business and people into the town, but it is a step in the right direction.
“Thirty-six businesses will be directly involved in this work. There will be a £20,000 marketing campaign which will be a significant boost to the town and then there will be £35,000 spent on the car wash area that will significantly improve the look of the town and make it really attractive to business and people.
“There will also be work on opening up the town to make it more of an open space for people to walk around and improvements to building and lighting.
“The whole objective of this plan is to revitalise the town and encourage more people to shop local and I’m pleased with the plans and the progress we have made.”
Mr Burns continued: “For two years we have been fighting for this funding and it is from the hard work of our committee that we have been able to bring this about.
“Our group is dedicated voluntary organisation that receives no funding and works for the benefit of everyone.”
Work has already begun around the town on the major works project and is scheduled to continued throughout the year, hopefully finishing before the end of the year.