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Council backing BID as Ballymena high street gets ready to reopen

BID Chairman Stephen Reynolds, BID Manager Emma McCrea and MEABC CEO Anne Donaghy OBE

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is fully supporting Ballymena BID to get the town ready for action as restrictions are set to ease later this month. As the country gets ready to navigate its way out of lockdown, footfall and safety across the borough’s town centres are a priority for council.

With Ballymena BID celebrating a resounding yes vote of 80% of those polled, backing Ballymena BID to roll out plans over the next five years, Council is throwing its support behind upcoming initiatives to welcome shoppers back to the high streets safely.

Shoppers and pub-goers alike will see welcoming signage across the town centre, our famous furry friend, the Ballymena Bear will be helping to promote what the town has to offer and Covid-safe initiatives are being rolled out to help businesses reopen safely.

More than 100 businesses have already taken part in webinars all about social media, marketing and Covid safe guidance.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Peter Johnston said:

“The last twelve months have been incredibly challenging for our local businesses but we are starting to see signs that better times are coming.

“As we look ahead to the reopening of all our businesses in line with the Northern Ireland Executive's Pathway out of Restrictions, it is important that we give our support to them, while also mindful that all the necessary safety measures have been put in place to protect the health and wellbeing of our entire community.

“Our Environmental Health and Town Centre Development Teams are on hand to support our businesses right now, so I would encourage anyone who wishes to gain this important Covid Confidence mark for their premises to get in touch.

“This borough prides itself on the resilience of its business community. BID is another string to our bow which has already seen cooperative working to boost both the tourism and manufacturing sectors through special taskforces set up. The new BID term started on April 1 2021 and is financed by a small levy payable by qualifying businesses in the town. These funds will go into directly to support the town and businesses within the Ballymena BID area.

Emma McCrea, Ballymena BID Manager said:

“We’re excited to welcome businesses, staff and customers back to Ballymena. We know our loyal local community will support businesses by choosing to shop and enjoy those long overdue catch-ups with friends and family in our beautiful town and we can’t wait to welcome those from further afield back to experience what they’ve missed and what’s new in Ballymena.

“Unlike any other town in Ballymena over 70% of our businesses are independent and unique, that mix along with your favourite national retailers and two shopping centres makes Ballymena a must visit destination in Northern Ireland. We thank Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for their continued support and we are excited to continue to work together to ensure Ballymena thrives.”

Ballymena BID was established in 2015 to encourage growth, development and continued investment into the town centre. Chaired by well-known, local businessman, Stephen Reynolds, BID is supported by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Chamber of Commerce as well as a collective of local businesses.

For further information about the Ballymena BID visit:


For more information on Council’s Covid confidence scheme visit: