Ballymena boasts bumper footfall and 15 new stores!
Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID) is in full celebration mode this summer, as it proudly boasts a remarkable 11.4 percent surge in footfall during the first half of 2023, surpassing the figures from the same period in 2022.
The town has also welcomed fifteen new businesses and experienced a major business expansion, bucking the UK and Northern Ireland trends.
This is the second year that Ballymena has seen a growth in footfall, showcasing the town's position as a thriving and dynamic business hub, poised for continued growth and success in the future.
Amongst the new businesses are a new florist (Mison & Berry) flooring shop & café (Village Floors & Streat Café) hearing specialist (Audio Care) private ultrasound clinic (Oh Baby) as well as beauty business (The Aesthetic Room). Renowned bakery, Dougies Goodies, has also invested in larger premises within the town centre and reported amazing footfall figures since opening.
Emma McCrea, the BID Manager, said:
“Over the past number of years Ballymena BID, and our partners at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, have really concentrated efforts on creating a welcoming, safe and beautiful town that has an excellent business and retail mix, resonating with a loyal customer base from every corner of Northern Ireland. The significant investments and hard work have yielded exceptional results, attracting external investments that further elevate the town’s prominence.
“Ballymena is best known for its exceptional variety ofindependent stores, complemented by major High Street retailers and the two major shopping Centre’s, Fairhill and Tower Centre.This unique blend has established Ballymena as an unparalleled shopping and visitor experience, continually drawing significant investment into the town.
“Our current weekly family fun days, along with the vast array of events we have organised throughout the year have been a huge draw. This, alongside the gorgeous blooms, the Shutter Art andBallymena Bears crafted from topiary, has proven to be a big attraction, captivating people of all ages.
“The fifteen new businesses offer a brilliant variety of goods and services and have already proven to be a real hit with locals and visitors. We look forward to working closely with them in the years to come.”
Kirsty Hall, Owner of Oh Baby, Private Ultrasound Clinic in Ballymena said:
"We are absolutely delighted to have set up Oh Baby Ballymena. We knew that the town was the perfect place to establish ourselves because of its warm and welcoming atmosphere.
"Ballymena exudes a strong sense of community spirit, making it an ideal environment to connect with expectant parents and share in their special moments. It’s central location and excellent accessibility from all corners of Northern Ireland provide a convenient and accessible hub. We are really proud to be part of this thriving community and look forward to working closely with the BID and other business owners in the town.”
Stephen Reynolds BID Chairperson and owner of The Front Page Bar commented:
“I couldn't be more delighted about the exciting addition of many new businesses to our vibrant town and our strong footfall growth.
My own connection to this remarkable community runs deep, as the proud owner of The Front Page bar, which we recently purchased after a 33-year lease, I feel a profound sense of belonging and commitment to Ballymena.
"The BID has been hugely successful in helping to build a vibrant and welcoming town that enriches the lives of our residents and visitors alike. I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to act as both BID Chair and a business owner to contribute to the growth and success of Ballymena and to be an integral part of this flourishing community."
Deputy Mayor Alderman Stewart McDonald added:
“These figures are extremely welcome and I commend our local businesses for the superb efforts to cement Ballymena’s proud reputation as Northern Ireland’s best shopping town.
“As a Council, we are committed to supporting business and facilitating economic growth and prosperity. Despite the significant financial challenges currently faced by many, we recognise the importance of investment in our town centres and public spaces, and doing all that we can to make Ballymena and the Borough generally, areas that people want to invest in, visit and spend time.
"We have an outstanding array of retailers and hospitality providers and these results are testament to their innovation, commitment and passion for our town. I also must congratulate BID on its continued excellent work in Ballymena and look forward to continuing our strong working relationship for the good of Ballymena and its businesses.”
Follow Ballymena Means on social media for updates on new businesses and more.