Exciting plans revealed as consultation opens on regeneration of former St Patrick’s Barracks
As a public consultation opens, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has revealed plans for the former St Patrick’s Barrack’s that represent exciting proposals for the site and Ballymena itself, as well as containing well-considered nods to the history of both.
A strategically important brownfield site located close to the centre of the town, St Patrick’s Barracks was closed by the Ministry of Defence in 2007, following which the UK Government gifted the site to the NI Executive for regeneration through the Department for Communities.
In 2016/17 the Department carried out extensive consultation work on the regeneration of the site. The results of this consultation were used in support of the Outline Planning Submission, which was granted in 2019.
This confirmed that the land was to be used for the creation of a shared, mixed use, housing-led regeneration scheme supported by infrastructure including a new road, footpaths and cycle ways.
As pillars of regeneration, Council plan to construct a new Leisure, Health and Wellbeing facility and an Innovation Centre. Both will serve as a future hub for a Smart and sustainable district at St Patrick’s.
Design proposals reveal an exciting vision for the public realm, recreational areas, office building, and civic event space, to provide an enhanced ‘work and play’ space for the residents of Ballymena.
A new and upgraded path and carriageway network for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists will improve connections between the development and Ballymena’s town centre as well as with the adjacent communities.
Meanwhile the construction of new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Braid River will provide extended access to the recreational parkland around the Ecos centre.
New Bridge to the Ecos Nature Park
The first stage of the redevelopment of the site was the demolition of the old buildings.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council agreed with the Department for Communities to retain 10,000 bricks from the demolition works to be reused in a way to preserve the memory or the sites former use.
Consultation with veterans has produced a concept to reconstruct a clock tower that was formerly located on St Patrick's Barracks.
The proposed clock tower is placed in a tiered sensory garden as part or the design including a reflective pool and squares.
Each square is to depict a specific time period of the site: this would include early settlement history. St. Patricks Barracks, the current redevelopment and any future
aspirations or the site.
Another proposal would see a Seven Towers feature as a monument to celebrate the famous Seven Towers of Ballymena.
It consists of seven new towers representing the actual height of each historic tower. The towers will be placed on the site geographically proportional to one another with the Braid River creating a reference point for the structures.
The Seven Towers:
1. Ballymena Castle
2. First Ballymena Presbyterian Church
3. The Old Parish Church
4, The Braid Water Mill
5. St. Patrick's Church
6. Old Town Hall
7. All Saints Roman Catholic Church
Presently there are only three of the original towers which remain - the
All Saints, St. Patrick’s and the Old Parish Church.
Finally the site will become home to a new Innovation Centre. Ballymena has a strong history of innovation and to continue this planners are investigating a number of themes to form a Smart District on St Patrick's Barracks.
These themes and features may include:
Technology & Data
• Smart sensors to monitor and improve services
• Data to inform future planning & events
• Dashboard screens on sustainability
• Statistics and proportion of events
• EV charging points
• Green energy generation and storage
• Energy management systems
• Better connections such as the Smart Bridge over the Braid including motion detecting lighting
• Interpretative green energy water fountains
• Smart bins
• Real-time bus tracking bus stops
• E-Scooter stations & GPS
A Public Consultation Day will be hosted on Friday 20 May (10am - 4pm) in the Museum Atrium at The Braid Art Centre, Ballymena.
Anyone is welcome to attend to discuss the development of the St Patrick's Barracks.
Representatives of the Department for Communities and the Department for Infrastructure will also be present.
You can also view the latest designs and provide feedback via the link on the page at:
Alternatively, comments on the proposals are welcome by emailing:
Written submissions can be forwarded by post clearly marked to:
Regeneration of St Patrick’s Barracks
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
1-29 Bridge Street
The deadline for submission of feedback is Friday 3 June 2022 at 6pm.