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Friday, August 12, 2022

£1.75m Environmental improvement scheme for Ballymoney moves to stage 1

The Leisure and Development committee has approved a recommendation to appoint an Integrated Consultancy Team (ICT) to commence stage one of a £1.75m Environmental improvement scheme for Ballymoney.

These ‘comprehensive public realm improvements’ recommendations followed a review in December 2020 of the existing town centre master plan by the Department for Communities (DfC).

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The stage one plan will be ‘focused on Main Street, High Street, Charlotte Street and Church Street.’ and the review stated that, ‘interventions are required to address road safety concerns on Charlotte Street as well as improving movement and linkages between main street and western and eastern quarters, creating a safe and welcoming environment for pedestrians’ according to the report distributed ahead of Tuesday’s committee meeting.

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DfC is providing 100% of the eligible expenditures — ‘subject to a positive economic approval, a satisfactory consultation process and approval for the scheme from Council’ — allocating funding of £1.75m for the scheme during 2021/22 and 2022/23.

Councillors voted to approve the recommendations and subject to full Council approval, stage one will commence by engaging Council’s Capital Team to appoint an ICT.

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DUP North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has welcomed the news of the improvement scheme aimed at enhancing the town centre.

Mr Storey said: ‘‘I am delighted that this project has received the go ahead. The scheme will focus on making our town centre safer and more accessible for pedestrians by carrying out a number of long-overdue public realms works.

“As a Party, we have been lobbying for delivery of the Ballymoney Town Centre Masterplan since it was launched back in 2013.

“As Minister for Social Development in 2015, I secured further investment with the completion of a revitalisation scheme of some £239,000, with my successor in the Department Paul Given MLA now First Minister delivering a further £200,000. All with the aim of supporting existing traders in the development of their business, promote the Town as a destination for shoppers and improve the attractiveness of the shop frontages.

“While I would have liked to have seen progress further advanced I acknowledge the work of Officials in the Department for Communities and Causeway Council in securing this additional money with the benefits this investment will bring for residents, businesses and visitors to our town.

“I and my DUP colleagues on Causeway Council look forward to working with officials from the Department of Communities and Causeway Council, local traders and residents to proactively and collectively move this process to the design and economic appraisal stage without further delay. It is important that there is an agreed approach so that we get the best outcome for Ballymoney.

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