The successful scheme to revitalise Church Street and Bridge Street could be repeated elsewhere in the town centre if funding is forthcoming once again from the Department of Social Development (DSD).
A Council committee last week gave their support for the submission of an application for a second ‘revitalise scheme’ in 2014-15 subject to DSD securing 90% of the £100,000 required.
Councillors also agreed to contribute the additional 10%, or £10,000, for the scheme on the proposal of Ald PJ McAvoy.
This was seconded by Cllr William McNeilly,
If the DSD application is successful, the scheme will be adminstered once again through Ballymena Town Centre Development Ltd., with the 10% funding requirement coming from within Council’s Economic Development budgets.
Prior to that decision, Councillors were reminded that phase one, which was announced by Minister McCausland back in May, 2012, and was 100% funded by the Department to a total of £150,000, successfully aimed at improving buildings and marketing of Church Street and also the Bridge Street area.
In all some 47 properties and two gap sites were enhanced and five new businesses opened in the ‘Revitalise Zone’, bucking national trends of vacancy rates.
The committee also heard from a Council officer that 10 business owners reported a three per cent performance increase on the previous year as a result.