Council hit back over ‘run down’ town centre claims

BALLYMONEY Borough Council has hit back at criticism that the town centre has ‘nothing but coffee shops, charity shops and butcher shops’

The response comes after father of two, Adrian Campbell last week called on members to ‘take action’ and help promote the borough claiming the town was being ‘run down’.

In a statement to the Times, a Town Centre Business spokesperson explained: “In December 2009 an environmental improvement scheme in Main Street and the Diamond area at a cost of £420K, funded by DSD, Roads Service and Council, was completed.

“Discussions are ongoing with the Department of Social Development Office regarding the need to create a new plan to develop the town. Earlier this year, a bid by Ballymoney Regeneration Company, supported by Council, for Heritage Lottery Funding for a Ballymoney Townscape Heritage Initiative, was awarded a first-round pass for funding of £1.34M.

“Ballymoney Regeneration Company are now engaged in developing the scheme further to submit a fully worked up second-round submission to Heritage Lottery Fund. This scheme will promote sustainable, heritage-led, economic regeneration in the historic commercial core of the town centre, enhancing the historic townscape character and appearance of the conservation area. “Such regeneration initiatives are aimed at enhancing the character and visual appearance of the town, increasing business and community confidence and providing opportunities for employment and increasing visitors.

“Council also lobby on issues that impact on the town and has supported representations from the Chamber of Commerce on issues such as car parking charges and plastic bag lobby.”