Anne opens for business despite robbery ordeal

L-R Roy and Anne Shiels, Alan Ross (Architect), Winnifred Mellett (Chamber President) and Wallace Dunlop (contractor. INBM48-14S
L-R Roy and Anne Shiels, Alan Ross (Architect), Winnifred Mellett (Chamber President) and Wallace Dunlop (contractor. INBM48-14S

Despite being threatened and robbed by masked men only a few weeks ago, Anne Shiels Jewellers in Ballymoney has opened it’s door to new premises on Main Street.

Earlier this month a gun gang entered the Victoria Street shop and threatened frightened staff and forced them to the ground before stealing jewellery.

However, vowing to continue trading, Anne and Roy Shiels recently hosted an open night for their colleagues in the Chamber of Commerce and their new neighbours in Main Street and Diamond area.

Roy and Anne paid tribute to their Architect Alan Ross and contractor Wallace Dunlop, the Regeneration Company and Council, for all the help and support they had received in taking the project from concept design to completion. The new shop opened to the public on Thursday when the town’s Christmas lights were switched on.

Speaking on behalf of the Chamber and the local business community, Chamber President Winnifred Mellett, describing the development as “a massive boost to the town in general” congratulated Anne and Roy on the excellent restoration of the iconic building in the heart of the town, bringing a vacant property back into economic use.

The project is the first to be completed under the Ballymoney Townscape Heritage Initiative, a grant aid programme administered by Heritage Lottery Fund. The schemes aim is to promote the repair and sustainable re-use of vacant or under-used buildings that positively contribute to the townscape character of historic urban areas and to promote physical and economic regeneration within designated conservation areas.

The Ballymoney scheme is being implemented by the Ballymoney Regeneration Company in partnership with Ballymoney Borough Council.

A total of 22 buildings have been identified and the scheme is scheduled to be completed by December 2017.