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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Work underway to design public realm scheme for Co Antrim town

Streetscape of The Diamond, Ballycastle.

 

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has announced the appointment of Hall, Black and Douglas as the Integrated Consultancy Team to draw up proposals for a public realm scheme around the Diamond area in Ballycastle.


This initial design work will include the development of design proposals, a public consultation exercise and the preparation of a planning application. This work, which is expected to take 14 months to complete, will help inform if it is feasible to move to the construction phase of the project.



Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Ivor Wallace said:


“It is vital that we continue to invest in our town centres to make them welcoming places where people want to spend time exploring our shops, businesses and attractions. Safer and more appealing surroundings will encourage people to stay longer and make return visits, which is vital for our local economy.


“This scheme represents an opportunity for significant investment in Ballycastle, which would enhance the street environment and complement the diverse retail offering and many independent traders which characterise the town.



“Part of this first phase includes public consultation and I would encourage all those with an interest in improving the town to get involved when further details are confirmed.”


The cost of the assignment will be £145,000, with the Department for Communities providing funding of up to £70k to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to help progress the design work.


A Departmental spokesperson said:


“This investment is a welcome boost for Ballycastle.  



"Public realm schemes are just one of the regeneration tools our Department uses to assist town centres to continue the process of economic recovery and to adjust to new ways of living and working.


“We expect this initial work to present some exciting proposals that will allow Ballycastle to continue to develop as a vibrant and bustling town for people who live there and the many tourists who visit the town in the summer months.


“We look forward to seeing these proposals being developed and the scheme move to the construction phase subject to the availability of budget.”



If a decision is made to press ahead with the construction phase, the total cost of the scheme, including ICT, is estimated to be £1.75m.


The ICT has been appointed from a Council framework and has started to prepare: detailed designs and cost estimates, an economic appraisal, carry out consultations, and prepare and submit a planning application for the redesign and refurbishment of the public realm in the Diamond Area.


This ICT work will determine if it is feasible to proceed with the construction phase of the project, which in turn will depend on the availability of future funding.

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