Having last year launched the Ballymoney Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) following the award of £1.29 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Ballymoney Regeneration Company (BRC) is delighted to announce the completion of its first completed project at Main Street, Ballymoney.
With significant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund secured through the Ballymoney Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and Urban Development Grant from the Department for Social Development (DSD) refurbishment works commenced in May earlier this year and were completed within budget and on schedule, in time for the Big Ballymoney Christmas Lights Switch On.
Paul Mullan, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, Northern Ireland said: “HLF investment goes well beyond the bricks and mortar of a building. Townscape Heritage schemes can really help turn around local economies, not only by improving how places look and feel but by creating new opportunities for those who live and work there. The first building completed is always a significant milestone in TH schemes and we congratulate the team on reaching this point. We look forward to the seeing the next buildings moving forward and continue to support the many groups, owners and businesses in Ballymoney who are committed to ensuring a bright future for their town.”
Ballymoney Regeneration Company have worked closely with the owners, Roy and Anne Shiels, who have now transferred their established Jewellery business from their former premises in Victoria Street to the refurbished property opposite the Clock Tower.
Welcoming the completion of the project Chairperson of Ballymoney Regeneration Company, Mrs Winifred Mellett said: “The Ballymoney Regeneration Company is absolutely delighted with the outcome of this project and would like to thank the owners, Roy and Anne who have whole heartedly supported the THI scheme from its inception and who have contributed significant personal investment into this project. We wish them both every success with their business.
“The refurbishment works have transformed what was a dilapidated historic building into an attractive commercial premise at the heart of the town centre that will significantly contribute to the economic and physical regeneration of the area. We sincerely hope that this project will encourage other owners of historic properties within the town to consider undertaking similar schemes of conservation and refurbishment.”
Located opposite the Clock Tower on the corner of Main Street with Church Street, the purpose built haberdashers, originally known as The Arcade was constructed circa 1898. Later occupied by Curries, the building locally became known as ‘Curries Corner’. The building had lain empty and in disrepair for over ten years and its condition had been rapidly deteriorating due to the ingress of water through the poorly drained roof which had caused significant damage throughout the building and due to the cement based render which had caused considerable damage to the brickwork.
No.2 Main Street, circa 1900
Ballymoney THI is focused primarily on the heritage-led regeneration of three key commercial areas of the town, Main Street, High Street and Victoria Street. Priority is given to bringing back into sustainable use, redundant or underused historic buildings, to conserve and enhance the historic townscape character of the town centre and to breathe new life into the area. The scheme draws additional match funding from other organisations and stimulates private investment. Owners of THI eligible properties are invited to participate in the scheme and to submit THI grant applications to the regeneration company. The scheme will run for five years and conclude in 2017.
The funding was awarded through HLF’s Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) programme, which supports the regeneration of Conservation Areas that have suffered from serious social and economic decline. THI fosters effective partnerships between local organisations enabling repairs and other essential works in historic but often run-down areas bringing high streets back to life. The funding, integral to wider conservation and regeneration strategies, will also help stimulate employment opportunities, volunteer training and heritage days to help actively involve local residents in the project. To date, HLF has invested over £200m regenerating towns that have suffered serious social and economic decline
This project was funded through the Townscape Heritage Initiative programme which was replaced in Feb 2013 with two regeneration programmes Townscape Heritage and Heritage Enterprise www.hlf.org.uk.