Mill makes bid to be base for Paddy’s Day

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Raceview Mill in Broughshane looks set to replace Ecos as the ‘entertainment base camp’ for the annual local St Patrick’s Day event.

The March 17 celebration is a yearly feature in the Council’s calendar of events and is planned around Slemish for the climb and the Ecos Centre for the entertainment with coaches made available for transporting visitors from Ecos and Buckna to Slemish car park.

However, the Ecos Centre will not be available in 2016 as it will be undergoing refurbishment, requiring Council to find an alternative venue.

That looks like being Raceview Mill in Broughshane after members of the local authority’s Economic Growth & Development Committee agreed at their latest meeting to a proposal to work in partnership with the Mill as a pilot scheme for next year’s event.

Raceview Mill’s proposal, which will have to go before the next full Council meeting in January for ratification, includes - entertainment to include local dancers, kids entertainment and music; car parking for 200 cars, plus the option of overflow into an adjacent field; an indoor local food and craft market; and, social media marketing.

Prior to agreeing an officer recommendation to work in partnership with Raceview Mill as a pilot scheme for next year’s event, the Committee members were told that the proposal would see a 100 per cent reduction in entertainment costs (£1140 – 0), a 24% reduction in staff costs (£3870 - £3000); reduction in security cost by 23% (£3280-£2500); and an overall reduction of 13% to last year’s cost bringing the total cost in 2016 to £11,195.

“In addition, the village of Broughshane becomes part of the event having the potential to capitalise on the additional footfall to the area for economic activity,” members were told.