A local community project set-up to help regenerate Ballymena through a series of arts and cultural events has benefited from a share of a £13.5k prize fund from the Carnegie UK Trust.
The project, set up by the voluntary partnership group, the Ballymena Arts Partnership, focuses on running a series of interactive arts and cultural-themed community events until August as part of the Creative Citizens Programme in Ballymena.
To date events have included, a Debate Pod, a space where artists and architects came together to discuss, brainstorm and consider ideas for mapping and connecting the town centre with local communities and ‘Exploration IV’ a nomadic sculpture that popped up in unlikely locations around the town. Later this summer a ‘Shutters Up’ night time event will be held, aimed at boosting the night time economy. The event will see traders keep their shutters up and shop fronts lit up and special street lighting effects, music points around the town centre and street artists will encourage people to come into the town centre at night.
The Carnegie Prize has been awarded to the Ballymena Arts Partnership, as well as four community groups in Scotland, following the launch of the first Carnegie Prize for Design and Wellbeing in partnership with the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA).
The initiative celebrates how well designed public spaces, created with and for local people, can improve local resident’s health, provide new spaces for communities and promote community enterprise and regeneration.
Rosalind Lowry, from the Ballymena Arts Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to have won this Prize and we’ll be working hard to turn some fantastic ideas into reality.”
“The Prize will enable us to get the ‘Shutters Up’ event off the ground. We hope this kind of evening will become a regular thing in Ballymena and help us regenerate the night time economy.’
An overall winner will be announced following the completion of the 5 winning projects in September.
Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust, said: “Much of the Trust’s work over the last 100 years has focused around the impact our environment has on our wellbeing and what we can do to improve our public spaces. The Carnegie Prize for Design and Wellbeing celebrates the hard work that community groups are carrying out across the country to help make this happen.
Alan Jones, President of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) said: “We are delighted, as representatives of the architectural profession, to be involved in a project which shares our goals. Congratulations to the worthy winners.”