Public Realm ‘showcase’ area to be built in town

Ballymena Public Realm Scheme.
Ballymena Public Realm Scheme.

Work on what local people have dubbed ‘the big dig’ in Ballymena town centre is scheduled to get underway on January 19.

Properly known as the ‘Public Realm Scheme’. the project will see a sizeable - but unavoidable - level of disruption for traders, shoppers, pedestrians and motorists.

The aim of the scheme is to completely rejuvenate the town centre area with new footpaths, street furniture and parking bays to provide a 21st century urban retail environment.

Ballymena councillors were told at their monthly meeting last week that the plans for the ‘revamp’ were now firmly set in place.

The Borough’s acting Chief Executive, Mr. Roger McKnight, said that a number of information meetings would be held after the Christmas period which would bring together local business people and other affected sectors so that any conerns on the impact of the multi-million pound scheme could be adressed.

Mr. McKnight revealed that the first stage of the scheme would see works carried out in a part of the town centre where interference to business would be minimal.

“The idea would be to carry out the work in that area so that people can see the kind of change which the Public Realm scheme will actually bring about in the town centre,” he said.

“This working area will essentially be a showcase for the overall project .