Public Realm open events

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Open information events are to be held to raise awareness of what the £4m Public Realm town centre improvements will involve.

The work, which is due to start later this month and take 16 months to complete, will change the streetscape of the core thoroughfares of Broughshane Street, Ballymoney Street, Wellington Street and Church Street.

Councillors were informed at their monthly meeting, last week, that prior to work starting on the ground, the contractor plans to hold public Open Days.

The first of these will be held on Friday, January 16, from 12noon-5pm, and on Wednesday, January 21, from 12noon-7pm. Both will take place in Ballymena Business Centre on Church Street.

In response to a query from Councillor Timothy Gaston over Council input, Acting Chief Executive Rodger McKnight said it was planned to designate a senior officer to attend in a bid to help address any concerns that may arise.

The scheme, which it was recently announced will be undertaken by TAL Civil Engineering Ltd., will see on-street parking reduced on each of the four core thoroughfares. Footpaths will be widened and street furniture such as lighting and seating will be introduced to the town centre,

Parking will also be reduced on Bryan Street and flush kerbs introduced with the aim of using the thoroughfare “for temporary small scale events”.

Plans for Thomas Street include a one-way system, footpath widening and the introduction of eight parking spaces while five spaces will be lost on-street at Broadway.