Liam Neeson gives seal of approval to nine-year-old Ballymena boy’s name for town’s iconic new venue
Friday 6 July 2018
Ballymena’s vibrant new entertainment venue in the heart of the town has been named Harmony Hub – following a ringing endorsement of the new title by Hollywood superstar Liam Neeson.
The Broadway venue finally provides citizens with a fit-for-purpose community space in the centre of Ballymena, with a series of free outdoor summer entertainment events aimed at rejuvenating the town centre and driving footfall kicking off this weekend.
Earlier this year Council teamed up with schools throughout the Ballymena area to suggest a fitting new name for the venue.
And the winning entry, by Broughshane Primary School pupil Euan Francis-Naylor, was selected as the winner by Freeman of Ballymena, Liam.
The star said: “All the entries were excellent and the children have caught the town’s shared community aspect of the structure. I warmly congratulate all the entries. Terrific. Well done!”
He added: “We look forward to the future, welcome it, adapt and attract new business initiatives. This beautiful yet simple structure symbolises all that and more. Many congratulations.”
Euan said he was delighted his chosen name will be forever attached to Ballymena’s newest landmark.
The nine-year-old added: “It’s brilliant. Liam Neeson is my favourite actor and I am so happy he liked Harmony Hub.
“I really hope that some day I can meet him at Harmony Hub.”
Harmony Hub provides the ideal space for a host of exciting events and performances aimed at showcasing up-and-coming talent from Mid and East Antrim and further afield, and promoting the very best of culture and the arts in the borough.
Summer Sounds at Broadway, an action-packed new programme of free outdoor entertainment featuring live music, performing arts and family fun, kicks off at Harmony Hub this Saturday (7 July).
The exciting bill of activities will take place every weekend and is organised by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in conjunction with the Ballymena Business Improvement District.
Summer Sounds at Broadway’s inaugural performers will be hugely popular local bands Picture the Sound, and The Resolution, with stilt-walkers, jugglers and more on hand, from 11am.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, said: “Summer Sounds at Broadway promises fantastic outdoor entertainment for all ages and will create a great atmosphere in the town centre every Saturday over the coming months.
“We want this brilliant new venue to be used by both budding and established artists from across Ballymena and further afield as a platform to showcase their talent.
“I’m delighted we have already secured local artists in Mid and East Antrim to perform at Broadway, where they can be enjoyed by locals and visitors to Northern Ireland’s number one shopping town.
“Our borough’s retailers are the very best around and you are guaranteed a very warm welcome and great service on any trip to Ballymena.
“Summer Sounds at Broadway will complement a town centre brimming with incredible independent retailers, high street giants and beautiful surroundings.”
The structure’s recent completion marks the final stage of a multi-million pound investment in the town.
Creative groups and artists will be invited to book slots at Broadway.
The Mayor added: “Our Council plays a key role in driving the economy of our borough, as demonstrated by our commitment to, and delivery of, the public realm scheme.
“This investment is all about boosting economic growth, generating jobs and bringing more people to Mid and East Antrim.
“Our thanks to our local retailers and Ballymena residents for their patience throughout the regeneration work and we all look forward to what promises to be an exciting and successful future for the town.”
Photograph: Euan Francis-Naylor with mum and dad, Michelle and Michael, and the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar