Ambitious plans are being put together by a local business man which could see Broughshane hosting the biggest Christmas Market in Northern Ireland.
The scheme was unveiled when Roy McKeown and his daughter Dawn provided a presentation to Thursday’s planning committee about ambitious plans for the continued development of Raceview Mill.
Part of the new Enterprise, Arts and Tourism Centre would have a large indoor storage space, which members heard could be the location for a new Christmas Market.
The popularity of the Christmas Market at Belfast City Hall has grown year on year with visitors coming from all over the province and Dawn explained that there is no reason why Ballymena couldn’t become the place to visit at Christmas.
Dawn said: “Ballymena could have a bigger Christmas market than Belfast, and all of it inside.”
Members heard that with so many local producers in the area the market could focus on local rather than continental products.
Dawn added: “Ballymena has a large pool of local talent and there will also be space for a park and ride which could mean further business for the town centre. I think it’s an absolutely fantastic idea and if it is something that Ballymena Borough Council find worthy, we would work with them to help make Ballymena the place to go at Christmas.”
Mayor of Ballymena Councillor Audrey Wales congratulated the McKeowns on the ambitious plans and told members she backed the Christmas market idea.
Councillor Monica Digney said: “Speaking as a Belfast woman, I would welcome the Christmas market and I think it would be tremendous asset for the borough.”
Councillor Tommy Nichol said that these proposals should be brought before the new Mid and East Antrim council.