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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Council backs Ballymena BID in efforts to enhance town centre economy

Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID) Board Members (Back row – left to right) Hugh Black, Roy Smyth, Thomas McKillen; Front row – left to right) Aileen McGarry, Stephen Reynolds, James Perry MBE.

Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID) Board Members (Back row – left to right) Hugh Black, Roy Smyth, Thomas McKillen; Front row – left to right) Aileen McGarry, Stephen Reynolds, James Perry MBE.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council continues its support for the Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID), celebrating its remarkable achievements in bolstering local businesses and revitalising the town centre.


Since its establishment in 2015, Ballymena BID has set a pioneering example as the first town in Northern Ireland to form a Business Improvement District, which is helping foster a dynamic business environment through collaborative efforts.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Alderman Beth Adger MBE expressed the council’s dedication to the partnership:


"I’m delighted that Council has consistently supported Ballymena BID in its mission to enhance economic growth and community vibrancy.


“The BID model exemplifies the strength of collaboration between Council and the business community, and we remain committed to fostering this partnership to drive continued economic prosperity in Ballymena," she said.

Ballymena BID has successfully launched and supported numerous projects in conjunction with the council, significantly impacting the town’s economic recovery and growth.


The past year has been a notable one for Ballymena, with funding secured from the Department for Communities & Council for the £687k public realm improvement works in Castle Street and Bridge Street, new planting scheme including the  well-loved Ballymena Bears, 3 new eye – catching art installations adding a splash of colour to the High Street, the reopening of the Pop-Up Shops and the roll out of the shop front improvement scheme that saw 37 Ballymena businesses benefiting from enhancements.


BID has celebrated various successes, including enhanced marketing efforts and events, which have contributed to increased footfall and economic activity in the town. One such project supporting the local economy is the Ballymena Gift Card, which saw sales exceed £130,000 in its first year of operations.

Notably, the BID continues to play a crucial role in the Town Centre Revitalise Steering Group, working alongside Council, the Department for Communities and other Town Centre Stakeholders to support businesses and to develop initiative projects that are instrumental in enhancing the town's visual appeal, attracting more visitors and boosting footfall.


Lesley McCaughan, owner of Follow Coffee in Ballymena, said:


"What I love about owning a business in Ballymena and being part of the Ballymena Business Improvement District is the collaborative working and having a network of support close by.

“Together, we work on projects that support and boost the town centre and its businesses. There's a notable difference between owning a business in a town with a BID and one without. The support from the staff and other members of the board and working group is priceless. Together, we are stronger."

Councillor Lawrie Philpott, who sits on the BID Board, said:


“Council values the BID model to drive investment into town centres and we would be eager to see similar successes replicated in other areas across the borough, ensuring broader economic benefits and community development. I’m excited to play a role in Ballymena BID and look forward to supporting future town centre projects.


“It was also a delight to applaud the work of the BID and its commitment to Ballymena at Council’s recent Environment and Economy Committee,” he said.


For more information about Ballymena BID and the initiatives supported by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, visit



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