Today (Saturday 8th April 2017) saw the official completion of Ballymoney Revitilised project with a celebration event in the town.
This project saw parts of Linenhall Street, High Street, Church Street, Victoria Street and Charles Street recieving an investment of £220,000 which was funded by both the DfC (Department of the Communiity) & Causeway Coast & Glens Council.
This went to helping to tidy and clean up the shop fronts and building in these areas. As a result the Council hope that this will go in some way to attracting both new shoppers to the town and also bring inward investment through new business.
The town has also saw recently the Ballymoney Townscape Heritage initiative led by Ballymoney regeneration group. The work was to regenerate the area within the conservation area of the town that had suffered from ‘serious social and economic decline’. With the help of the Heritage Lottotery Fund the Ballymoney regeneration group were awarded a £1.29m grant.
The areas that benefited from this were Main Street, High Street and Victoria Street. Priority was given to making sure that prreviously delerict or underused historic buildings would be preserved for the futire and that a breath of fresh area was broughts back into the town.
Ballymoney had previously long been in decline both aesthetically and economically. This wasn’t something that appeared overnight, but in fact decades in the making. Many blamed the recession for this and indeed it didn’t help. But its also true to say that the recession gave the ‘kick up the backside, to locals, businesses and councils to do something about it.
In recent years we have seen this renewed intrest in promoting Ballymoney and yes we have lost several businesses from the town but we have also seen new and continued investment and expansion into the town in recent years.
We have also seen a throwback to our market town past with a regular Artisan Market now at Castlecroft square which continues to grow in popularity.
The Ballymoney chamber dispite the amalagmation into the larger council area has retained its independence and continues to work hard in promotion the town as is evident by the successfull events organised by the Ballymoney Chamber during the Christmas past and with the upcoming Spring fair.
The town has also saw the much anticipated demolition of the delerict sites at Linenhall Street and Charles street after been purchased by new owners late 2016 with plans expected later this year for the site redevelopment.
Much work still lays ahead for Ballymoney, but for now the town is looking exceptionally well. Ballymoney is unlikly to be a busy commercial hub with big brand shops anytime soon, if ever, but what it continues to be is a small town playing on its market town heritage. A town boasting local family run independent traders brung into the modern age.
So the towns motto rings very true, ‘BALLYMONEY ENJOY OUR TOWN’.