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£1.3million Public Realm Schemes in pipeline for Mid and East Antrim

Ballymena and Larne look set to benefit from a further £1.3million investment with a number of public realm schemes in the pipeline for both towns to commence this year.

A meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s (MEABC) Direct Services Committee on 15 February heard that the local authority will deliver the two schemes over 2022/23 in conjunction with the Department for Communities (DfC) and Department for Infrastructure (DfI), after proposals were approved last November by the Borough Growth Committee.

In Ballymena works will be concentrated on Castle Street (from Church Street to the junction with Meeting House Lane). Footways will be upgraded with granite paving to match existing public realm

scheme materials and the works recently carried out on Lower Mill Street in the town.

Paving will be extended around the roundabout on Meeting House Lane and across the front of St Patrick's Church to the junction with Trostan Avenue.

The scheme will also see The re-paving of the footway on Bridge Street opposite The Braid, thereby completing the works to ensure a consistent finish of paving from Lower Mill Street right through to Meeting House Lane.

As with the recently completed Lower Mill Street scheme, the road carriageway of Castle Street will also be resurfaced.

The total cost of the scheme in Ballymena is £827,500 of which 90% (£745,000) will be funded by the Department for Communities.

In Larne, public realm upgrade works will be complementary to the proposed pedestrianisation of Dunluce Street and Lower Cross Street, and will help visibly link the two streets to the wider town centre.

Improvement works will be carried out to Point Street, from Broadway to the junction with Narrow Gauge Road, including upgrading of footways with granite paving to match existing public realm scheme materials. Paving materials will be purchased to complete the remaining section of footway in Point Street in the town once the construction of the proposed hotel completes.

The estimated cost of the project in Larne is approximately £499,000, and as with the Ballymena scheme, MEABC will receive 90% DfC funding of £449,000.

Materials have been ordered for both schemes, but as a result of current long lead

in times for shipping it is anticipated the Ballymena Scheme will begin by June this year at the earliest, with works to the Lane project to follow in the latter half

of the 2022/23 financial year.

Further schemes are continuing to be advanced by Council Officers for future delivery in 2023/24 and 2024/25 financial years, subject to funding.

These include the creation of two new civic spaces at Fairhill Square and Springwell Square in Ballymena.

In Larne, Council is advancing plans for the pedestrianisation of Lower Cross Street and Dunluce Street in the town.


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