The impressive portfolio of Raceview Mill was further expanded last week with the launch of a Tourist Office and Community Art Gallery.
Cutting the ribbon to declare the Gallery ‘open’, the Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Joan Christie OBE, described the Broughshane based Raceview project as ‘an outstanding success and a major contribution to jobs, community and arts’ and emphasised the importance of supporting young artists.
Matthew Allen, last year’s Vision Express Ballymena Young Artist of the Year, has been appointed the first curator of the new community art gallery which will be provided free to young artists by the Raceview Mill funded charity Artworks NI.
The second ribbon of the day was cut by Mid & East Antrim Deputy Mayor, Councillor Timothy Gaston as he launched the new Tourism Office at the site.
Mill owner Roy McKeown revealed that Councillor Gaston had come up with the idea for such a faciity at Raceview and thanked Council officers for helping stock the office and getting it ready for opening.
Responding, the Deputy Mayor said that Raceview Mill was the ‘perfect location’ given the number of tourists who visit Broughshane or pass through ‘the Garden Village’ on their way to Slemish and the Glens.
Guests at the ceremony included community leaders from Broughshane and the Glens, Dean John Bond, councillors from throughout the Mid and East Antrim area and Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy.
Speaking at the event, Mrs Donaghy commended Roy McKeown for making his ambitious vision a reality and for the work he had done to create local jobs and promote tourism and the arts which, she added, was in line with Council objectives.
Roy McKeown said Raceview Mill is now a growing and thriving community consisting of a business, an arts charity and a community association, all working together to create something unique to Northern Ireland – “a fusion between heritage, enterprise, tourism, markets, food, arts and crafts”.