MALLUSK Community Action Group (MCAG) is inviting local residents to have their say on ambitious proposals for enhancing the appearance of the village and upgrading community facilities in the area.
With financial assistance from Newtownabbey Borough Council, the group recently engaged Groundwork Northern Ireland to consult with the community and draw up a development plan incorporating a range of projects which could help improve village life in the coming years.
After consulting with key stakeholders, including local playgroup and school children, the consultants came up with a range of proposals for the area, including the possible creation of ‘an activity zone’ for children and young people in the grounds of Academy Sports Club, a revamp of the existing council play area, erection of new ‘Welcome to Mallusk Village’ signs and development of a riverside teaching area along the Ballymartin River at the Red Bridge. Other planned schemes include a ‘facelift’ project for prominent buildings in the area and the installation of hanging baskets and planters around the village.
Major improvements to Mallusk Cemetery are already under way thanks to a ‘green space’ project being led by Newtownabbey Council.
MCAG, which last year unveiled its village history trail, estimates that the total for all the proposed work could be in excess of £195,000.
The group, which is now investigating possible funders for various aspects of the proposals, will need to work alongside agencies such as Newtownabbey Council, Roads Service and the Rivers Agency in order to take aspects of the plan forward.
MCAG committee member, Barry Macaulay explained: “The estimated cost of the village improvements is around £200,000 and MCAG will be engaging with the council and other funding agencies to pursue implementation in the coming years. MCAG feel that the community in Mallusk has suffered enough from the effects of landfill and over industrialisation and we think it is time for public investment in community facilities for the more than 600 households in the area.”
Mr Macaulay has urged everyone in the area to have their say on the proposals by emailing any comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org
“We’re looking for people to come back to us and tell us what they think of the plans. We want people to give us their support as we’re hoping to move ahead and apply for grants for the various projects over the next couple of years,” he added.
MCAG Chairman Stephen Moran said the local community group needs more support from government agencies in its bid to improve the area.
“At the end of the day Mallusk seems to be a dumping ground for everything else - landfill, scrapyards, incinerators - so we need all the help we can get to get these plans up and running,” he commented.
The full Mallusk Village Improvement Plan can be viewed online at www.malluskcag.co.uk