The first Minister Arlene Foster has officially opened ‘Payescape House’ today on Church Street Ballymoney, following months of extensive refurbishment and building work across the three floor premises perviously owned by Dunnes Stores.
Ballymoney business Payscape, which had been based at Acorn Business Park in the town, had outgrown their old premises for some time, so after laying vacant for five years following the closure of Dunnes Stores, the building was purchased by the local firm.
“The relocation will give us room to grow as we were bursting at the seems at our old premises, with no room to hold private meetings.” states the Managing Director of Payescape, John Borland.
“With a new base across the top two floors here on Church Street, we have the ability to grow our staff to about 70 comfortably. Currently, we have close to 50 staff, so quite a bit of room for expansion there.”
The building will be spit into two spaces. The top town floors will be occupied by Payescape themselves, with the ground floor set aside as prime town centre retail space.
“Currently we are looking for a Tennant for the retail space on the ground floor. It’s 6,000sq ft and currently a shell waiting to be occupied.
“Ballymoney is looking quite well with very few vacant properties at the minute so we would be hopeful to secure a Tennant soon. We have already had a few enquires.”
The scaffolding up on the front of the building and the large crane which towered above it, had become a familiar sight over recent months, were removed just a couple of weeks ago. As John explains, these features had remained a little longer than expected.
“COVID-19 had put the completion and opening behind quite a bit. We were scheduled to have moved in at the end of May but are only getting in now.
Staff have been busy moving into and setting up their new comfortable & spacious working environment, in preparation for todays official opening by the First Minister who said:
“Its wonderful to be back in Ballymoney, A local company which is serving firms all across the world, global customers, so that’s wonderful to see.
“To be in the centre of Ballymoney is brilliant because it means that the staff can go out into the town at lunchtimes or after work and get what they need.”
Mrs Fosters party colleague, Mervyn Storey has been a strong supporter of the company’s move to Church Street, and also attended the opening. Speaking to us after, the North Antrim MLA said: “I was pleased to be present at the official opening of Payescapes new offices in Church St along with the First Minister Arlene Foster MLA.
“John Borland and all at the company are to be congratulated in the opening of their new premises in the center of Ballymoney. Its a number of years since I first discussed the possibility of the Company relocating from the Acorn Business Park to such a property and its great to see it now as a reality.
“This is not only good for the company and its expansion plans but also for Ballymoney. Having such business in the heart of our town is just what we need in these challenging times for our local retail traders.
“I would congratulate John Borland and his staff in all the hard work that has been put in to see the company make this ambitious move.
Mr Storey concluded: “I wish John and the company every success for the future and trust that other companies might consider following Payescapes lead and see other disused properties put back into operation, helping the regeneration of the Town center and giving employment.”
Following the successful opening Mr Borland said that he was “delighted to welcome the First Minister” and that he hoped it would create “great publicity for the company and Ballymoney” and keep both services and jobs local.
Currently Payescape Northern Ireland Customers only make up 20% of the company’s total workload with 15% from United States. John is hopping that this move and possible future expansion will attract more Northern Business.
“I think prior to our move many people locally may have been unaware that we existed in the town and indeed Northern Ireland. Now that we have a prominent place in the town centre we would hope to grow our customer base, including across Northern Ireland.
“Our success on the internet has been possible in no small part due to the great broadband services in the area and allowed us to compete with companies across the UK.”