Town investment of £2.5m is welcomed

Ballymoney DUP councillor John Finlay, speaking following a presentation to the town council’s Development Committee on the proposal for a townscape heritage initiative welcomed the prospect of a substantial financial injection in excess of £2m into the heart of the town.

The heritage-led regeneration, within the Ballymoney Conservation Area, received a first-round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund last year.

The programme of work has now been further developed by Ballymoney Regeneration Company, aided by a consultancy group led by WDR & RT Taggart and presented to the Development Committee.

Committee Chair, Finlay said: “The prospect of securing the £1.34m grant set aside for Ballymoney by the Heritage Lottery Fund, towards the overall project costs of £2.5m is a huge injection into our town.

“This, coupled with some £1.3m public and private investment in the new bridge at the Railway Station, is a vote of investment confidence in Ballymoney.”

The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) programme. Focusing on the commercial heart of the town, provides for funding for the repair, restore and in some cases new sustainable uses for up to 28 buildings within the town’s historic centre that contribute to Ballymoney’s special townscape character.

It offers the opportunity to bring back into sustainable use some of the currently redundant or underused historic buildings on Victoria Street, Main Street, High Street and the Diamond.

A programme of activities will also be developed to encourage local people to learn about and become involved in the heritage of their area.

It will provide opportunities for employment, education and learning, and for training in traditional building skills.

Subject to HLF approval of the second-round submission, the Ballymoney Townscape Heritage Initiative is programmed to commence autumn 2012 and be completed by the end of summer 2017.