Ballymena benefits from significant Public Realm makeover

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Castle Street and Bridge Street in the centre of Ballymena have benefitted from a £687K transformation following the completion of a high quality Public Realm scheme.

Pictured with the Mayor is:   Kathryn Campbell - Department for Communities Regional Development Office Teresa Campbell – Department for Communities Regional Development Office Eamon McMullan – MEABC Capital Regeneration Manager Rachael Kearns – MEA

The Department for Communities (DfC) provided funding of £598,000 with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council contributing the remainder.

The scheme, which was delivered by contractors FP McCanns, saw the upgrade of the footpaths on Bridge Street (opposite the Braid) and Castle Street (from Church Street to the junction with Meeting House Lane) with granite paving and kerbing.

New paving was also extended to the roundabout on Castle Street and across the front entrance at St Patrick’s Church, to the junctions with Trostan Avenue and Meeting House Lane, providing a consistent finish of paving throughout the town centre.

In addition, the area from the carpark opposite the Braid to Bridge Street was also repaved and the carriageway of Castle Street was resurfaced.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said: “The completion of this work is another significant step in creating a town centre which is welcoming and attractive to shoppers and visitors. The works have delivered high quality measures including paving which has improved the quality of the streets and connectivity between them and the previously completed schemes in the town centre.

“We were very grateful for the patience and understanding of our businesses and citizens throughout the period of the works and would like to thank them wholeheartedly for their support.”

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons said “The completion of the Castle Street/Bridge Street public realm has significantly enhanced the streetscape and improved linkages into Ballymena town centre from the St Patrick’s regeneration site, Trostan Avenue and Harryville. Ballymena has already benefitted from significant public realm investment in recent years, as well as a range of other funding, and these latest works have helped further enhance the appearance of the town centre.

“Supporting the sustainability and vibrancy of our towns and cities is a key priority for my department.  Working with the Council, this kind of investment helps improve confidence and pride in our town centres. I am very pleased that the project has made such a positive change to the area.”

The scheme commenced in August 2023 and completed in March 2024. The physical improvements not only improve the image of the area, but also connect communities and improve accessibility.