£485K investment announced for town centres across Mid & East Antrim
The Department for Communities has announced an investment of £485,000 in a range of revitalisation projects for Carrickfergus, Ballymena and Larne town centres.
The Department has awarded funding of over £436,000 to Mid & East Antrim Borough Council to deliver the scheme, with £48,500 also invested by the Council
Welcoming the news, Director of Regional Development at Department for Communities (DfC) Gerard Murray said:
“This £485k investment is a welcome boost for the town centres, benefitting commercial properties and enhancing the shopping areas of these busy towns. The Council has developed a comprehensive programme of initiatives, aimed at supporting the long-term economic viability of Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne.
"In line with DfC’s regeneration policy, these planned improvements will benefit traders, visitors and those living in the three town centres. I look forward to their rollout across the towns.”
Building on the experience of projects delivered through the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme, Council has identified a number of initiatives to support the town centre offering in these three main towns, including:
• A shopfront improvement grant scheme for town centre businesses. Successful applicants will receive funding for 80% of project costs, up to a maximum grant of £5,000.
• Bringing a vacant unit in each town back into use.
• Enhanced feature lighting & planting to bring vibrancy to key areas.
• Activities to attract people into town centres
• Provision of town-specific features including signage and PA systems.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Council, Ald Gerardine Mulvenna, commented:
“This is brilliant news for our borough and I commend all those who have worked so hard to secure this vital funding.
“Our businesses have faced huge challenges over recent years but have continued to demonstrate resilience, innovation and an unwavering commitment to our community.
"Traders are the lifeblood of our town centres, and I am delighted this support is being made available to build on the excellent offerings provided in Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus.”
The Council has established a Steering Group including local businesses and groups to help advise on the programme, and will shortly announce more details on how business can apply for the grant scheme.