Ballymoney praised for ‘dressing up’ town

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Ballymoney has been praised for it’s ‘ambitions not only to reduce the impact of abandoned properties, but also to encourage tourists’.

The statment came from ‘The story of City Dressing in Northern Ireland’ which explained: ‘Tackling derelict properties has been a key policy of the Northern Irish Assembly. Supported by EU funding the plan has been to reduce the negative effect of long term empty retail and protect neighbouring property owners.

‘This initiative was seen by empty property specialists City Dressing as an opportunity to both address the problem of derelict property, but also to engage local communities. With an unparalleled reputation for delivering empty property schemes, City Dressing set about making a difference to areas of neglect in Dungannon, Ballymoney, Armagh, Cookstown and Banbridge. In a 3 week period on February and March the company transformed over 100 properties.’

In the press release City Dressing’s Jeremy Rucker said: “It isn’t just a case of dressing the voids up to look more attractive. That’s important, but we also need to generate interest from new tenants. By renovating the outside and then creating virtual shops from empty units, we have attracted a host of potential new retail enterprises.”

According to City Dressing in Northern Ireland: ‘In Ballymoney the council had ambitions not only to reduce the impact of abandoned properties, but also to encourage tourists from the Causeway Coast and Glens. A timeline combined with an art gallery tells a fascinating story of the history of the town. On the back of the success of the graphics the council is planning a literary and music festival.’

“We create graphics that tell a story,” said Jeremy. “And that story creates footfall which ensures a future for these communities.”

Hoardings over areas of wasteland and dead spaces have been turned into virtual rows of bright little shops that make you look twice.

With a further £1.5m in the pipeline for similar projects, City Dressing hopes to bring their eye catching graphics to other towns and cities looking for a fresh new start.