Concerns over funding for Ballyclare public realm scheme

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The council’s Community Planning Committee has deferred a decision on whether or not to proceed with a major public realm improvement scheme in Ballyclare town centre.

Council officers are still awaiting confirmation from the Department for Social Development (DSD) that its share of the funding will be made available for the £437,000 project.

The committee’s monthly meeting was informed that “it is unlikely that the required funding will be confirmed before January 2016. There is also a potential risk that no funding will become available within the current financial year.”

Members were asked if the council, which has already committed to part-funding the project, should proceed ‘at risk’ - a move which could potentially leave local ratepayers footing the entire bill if DSD funding fails to materialise.

The committee agreed a proposal from Cllr Nigel Kells that a decision on the issue be deferred until the meeting of full council on September 28, giving officers time to get more information from DSD officials about the funding situation.