Exciting plans to breathe new life into Antrim town centre
Artist’s impression of new office development on former police station site ( Credit: Harry Rolston Architects).
Work will begin shortly in Antrim town centre to refurbish the former Wellworths building on High Street and to create an exciting new open space at ‘Ulster Bar’ corner.
As part of an extensive town centre revitalisation scheme this brings empty and derelict sites in the town centre back into use and supports activities that attract more people into our town.
This scheme which totals £8.1 million, will include the refurbishment of the first floor of the old Wellworths building into new social enterprise and business start-up office accommodation, the opening up of the back of the building to provide new business accommodation as well as the work already underway to refurbish and then extend the boardwalk along the river.
The first phase of this opening up project will commence shortly with the appointment of the construction company for the Wellworths building works, JPM Contractors.
The corner of High Street and Railway Street in Antrim known as ‘Ulster Bar’ corner, has lay vacant for many years and is about to come back to life as a new open community space.
This new space will consist of an area for events such as urban markets, pop-up cinemas and music concerts as well as beautifully landscaped, green recreation space for the community.
These projects are supported by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Department for Communities and the Levelling Up fund.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb commented on the town’s improvements; “Both projects will give Antrim a new lease of life. People will be encouraged to come into the town centre to shop and enjoy an event in the pop-up garden. Visiting Antrim will be a more enjoyable experience, with improved connectivity along the refurbished boardwalk to Antrim Castle Gardens from the town centre. The ripple effects will boost our local economy with this increased footfall visiting shops and enjoying a bite to eat.”
The Antrim project is one of two projects in the Borough which have been awarded a total of £5.1m from the Levelling Up fund scheme. The second project, The Glengormley Integrated Physical and Economic Regeneration project will receive £3.9 million for the development of the former police station site, shop front facades along the building from Creative Tiles to the Movie House and the remodelling of the Car Park and larger public realm scheme.
The Council will continue to work with businesses, the community and all our partners to realise these ambitious plans.
Antrim Levelling Up – Wellworths Building Phase
The Wellworths Building is owned by the Karl Group and the floor that is being refurbished as part of this project, will house a shared work space for business start-ups and entrepreneurs. Antrim Enterprise Agency will be the business partner for the shared work space.
Improvements to the building include:
· Exterior façade improvements to the former Wellworths building on High Street will feature a double height feature window.
· Internally, ceiling and structural works will be carried out, along with a platform lift and staircase.
· Improvements will be made to the exterior at the back of the building which will link to the boardwalk. Ramps will be added to the boardwalk for ease of access for bikes, buggies and wheelchair users.
Ulster Bar Corner
· Ulster Bar Corner’s vibrant make-over will include play features, trees and landscaping around a central green. Plans will be developed to host a range of outdoor community events such as open air cinema, craft and food markets.
· Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has agreed a two year licence with the Department for Communities, who has also provided a £170,000 grant to create the community use scheme by creating an enhanced open space for everyone to use.