Construction of a spine road at a major regeneration site in Ballymena is to start in the coming weeks, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced.
The £6million road construction is part of the regeneration of St Patrick’s, Ballymena.
The new road is the key to unlocking the regeneration potential of the site, including providing vital infrastructure for the 135 homes to be built on the site shortly.
Minister Hargey said:
“The commencement of the construction of this road is an important step forward in the transformation of this former military barracks into a thriving community, a place where people can, live, work, learn and enjoy new leisure facilities.
“My Department will continue to work in partnership with Radius Housing, Mid and East Antrim Council, the PSNI and other stakeholders to realise our vision for the site over the next few years.
“When completed this road will benefit people who live, work and visit Ballymena through new and enhanced linkages and is another significant investment following on from recent improvements to the public realm in the town centre.”
The construction of the new road will provide enhanced access through the site by creating a route from Broughshane Road to the Larne Road Link. It will also reduce traffic in neighbouring residential streets and create a new access to the re-developed Northern Regional College.
The contract has been awarded to FP McCann by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) who are managing the project on behalf of the Department for Communities (DfC). Works are expected to commence later this month and will take approximately 12 months to complete.
Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd said:
“Developing our roads infrastructure is vital in connecting communities and building the economy. This important scheme will deliver significant benefits to Ballymena and the wider area, and is an example of what can achieved through partnership working. I am particularly pleased that walking and cycling links will also be improved by the construction of this road, as these provide people with sustainable and active travel options for their journeys.
“My Department will continue to work closely with the Department for Communities, the contractors and other stakeholders to ensure the successful completion of these works.”
FP McCann are holding a Public Engagement Event on Wednesday 25 May from 2.30pm-7.00pm in the Des Allen Suite at Ballymena Showgrounds. This session is an chance to find out more about the project, its impact, and the opportunities available. These include job opportunities, work placements and experience, and supplier and sub-contractor opportunities.
The construction of the new road is one element of a wider regeneration of the St Patrick’s site, led by the Department for Communities, which includes residential homes, a new civic space, a leisure and wellbeing centre, an Integrated Industrial Inspiration and Innovation Campus and a new PSNI building.
The extensive programme, led by the Department for Communities in association with MEABC, NRC, Radius Housing and the PSNI, will deliver regeneration works to transform the site bringing economic and social benefits to the wider Ballymena area.