New look for Ballymoney

CONTINUED FROM FRONT Already, there has been an enthusiastic response from local businesses whose contribution is expected to be no more than 25% of the total outlay.

One supporter of the project is Martin Doyle of The Diamond Bar who plans to take advantage of the scheme which will see him renovate his premises.

He said: “Work has to be undertaken and this is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of grants.”

Although non-commital at this stage, the project co-ordinator, Nick Brown, says he is pleased with how the business community has responded.

“We are very confident that work on one of the more iconic buildings in the town centre will be started later this year and when people see progress, it could well motivate others,” Mr. Brown said.

The scheme will be completed over a five-year period and is being run in tandem with the Masterplan which entered a 12-week consultation period from last week.

Martin McDonald from the Heritage Lottery Fund, stressed the importance of preserving the local heritage and inculcating that into the residents so that there was recognition of the standing of Ballymoney as one of the country’s oldest towns.

Mrs. Winnie Mellett, President of the Chamber of Commerce, urged business owners to take advantage of the project and submit their applications.

Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, Alderman Bill Kennedy, said he would like to see an increase in community pride and business confidence as well as maximising the tourist potential of the area.

“The Masterplan and this new initiative must be taken forward in tandem for the benefit of Ballymoney,” he added.