The Ulster Unionist Party has its sights set on winning at least two seats in South Antrim in this year’s Assembly election.
Keen to build on its successes at the last Westminster and local government elections, the party is hoping to increase its number of seats in the constituency come May 5.
Currently the UUP only has one South Antrim MLA - Adrian Cochrane-Watson. The former councillor was co-opted to the Assembly following Danny Kinahan’s election as Member of Parliament.
In an effort to make its local representatives more accessible to constituents, the South Antrim UUP team has opened new premises in the Woodford Road area of Newtownabbey.
The new office was officially opened last Friday by party leader Mike Nesbitt MLA in a ceremony that included Lord Empey of Shandon Roy Beggs MLA, the Antrim and Newtownabbey UUP council team and local party activists.
Speaking at the event, Mr Nesbitt MLA said the new office was symbolic of the party’s growth.
“I can’t help but be impressed by the growth and ambition of our UUP South Antrim team. It is symbolic of the wider optimism and drive within the Ulster Unionist Party across Northern Ireland. We are a party on the rise and I thoroughly enjoy standing amongst party members celebrating that rise. This new office will no doubt bring greater representation to this part of South Antrim and I have every faith that Danny, Adrian and their team of staff will make this office a welcome resource for everyone in the Newtownabbey community.”
Speaking after the ribbon-cutting, Adrian Cochrane-Watson commented: “South Antrim is a constituency with many towns and villages, each one the heart of their own community. Our aim in the UUP South Antrim team is to continue to make our representatives and the service they provide as accessible as possible. With our MP and myself we have three offices across South Antrim - in Antrim Town, Ballyclare and now Woodford. I look forward to the time when the UUP team at Westminster and Stormont are able to make our representation even more accessible to the rest of South Antrim. I hope the people of Newtownabbey put this office to work and make good use of the service it provides.”
The UUP’s three Assembly election candidates in South Antrim are Adrian Cochrane-Watson, Steve Aiken and Cllr Paul Michael.