Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland visited Ballymoney on Wednesday to launch a Masterplan for the future development of the town centre.
The Masterplan sets out a range of proposals for redeveloping the town centre over a period of up to 20 years. Some of the highlighted regeneration opportunities included in the plan are proposals for the better use of public space, the development of a new Transport Interchange and the review of linkages throughout the town.
Minister McCausland said: “This Masterplan is a comprehensive long term strategy which will guide the development opportunities and regeneration plans of Ballymoney Town Centre. It contains some exciting ideas which, with support from private and public sector, should provide a vibrant future for retailers, businesses and the people from the town.
“One of the first projects which will be developed is a revitalisation scheme to assist businesses and property owners to improve the external appearance of buildings in the town centre. In addition, work will begin on preparing a transport assessment which will examine the options available for making the town centre more accessible now and better able to accommodate the future development of the town.”
Cllr Bill Kennedy, Chair of the Development Committee said: “There is a growing optimism about the future of the town. The Council is now eager to advance these plans which will deliver a vision for our town centre and generate increased visitors and spending, retain jobs, create jobs and contribute to the town’s long term viability.”
The Department for Social Development has funded the costs of preparing the Masterplan up to £45,000.
Some of the highlighted regeneration opportunities included in the plan are as follows:
· Streetscape Improvements combined with the re-configuration of roads to provide for the better use of public space.
· ‘Linenhall Quarter’- establishing potential uses and activities for developing the site and create linkages to the rest of the town centre which provide greater vitality.
· ‘Eastern Quarter’ – identifying proposals for the development of backlands east of Main Street including a new road access with civic space and a mixed use development.
· Western Quarter – creating better pedestrian linkages to Main Street with additional car parking and reconfiguring service access for properties on Main Street.
The Masterplan can be viewed at http://www.dsdni.gov.uk or http://www.ballymoney.gov.uk