Raceview Mill in Broughshane, which is now fuelled by firmus energy natural gas, is a flourishing creative zone which is bringing arts and crafts, music and local food producers together in a 15-acre inspirational site that is steeped in history.
The space has proved attractive to up-and-coming creative businesses with low rent and atmospheric surroundings in which to work.
After purchasing the derelict Mill, Roy McKeown has painstakingly worked to restore many of its original features, including a 20ft water turbine that had previously been used to fuel the plant as well as the Mill’s unique vaulted brick ceiling with oak beams.
Roy, owner and managing director of the Mill, said: “Our aim is to create a new proposition for Northern Ireland – bringing together arts, enterprise and tourism in a viable manner.
“We have one of the province’s largest independent art galleries and the Mill offers an unusual venue where local artisans and businesses can thrive in a creative space that is both inspirational and cost-effective for them.
“We are not after the ‘big names’ from the High Streets across Northern Ireland, we encourage boutique companies and organisations which offer something unique and different.
“We realise that a lot of these companies are fledgling creative start-ups who may still be operating from garages or living rooms but have come to realise that they need more space. It is these people who we want to attract to Raceview Mill and our concept suits their needs.
“One of the ways in which we have been able to offer such low rates for our tenants is by choosing our suppliers carefully. For example, we knew early on that we would install firmus energy natural gas after we saw the savings that we could make over other types of fuel. We were connected to natural gas in July 2014 and the process was very straightforward.
“The team were really helpful right from our first conversation with them and the installation of firmus energy natural gas has been seamless.
“The energy heats our main building and our units, which are in the same ‘traditional’ style as the Mill and in total, we have around 70,000 sq ft of space.
“We also hope to have restaurants and coffee shops operational which may take advantage of the connection to natural gas as more units are let over the coming months.”
David Fusco from firmus energy, added: “This is an exciting venue with so much potential. There is such a lot on offer and it should attract people from far and wide to Broughshane who can enjoy the many different aspects that the Mill has to offer.
“Choosing natural gas means that the Mill and its businesses are making significant savings on this vital utility each and every month. We know businesses are looking at the bottom line and we are confident that firmus energy natural gas brings significant savings compared to other traditional fuels.”
He added: “Roy joins over 2,500 firmus energy customers in the wider Ballymena area and as our network continues to grow we are delighted to be helping businesses and homeowners alike to save money on their overheads.”
To find out more about the Mill, visit www.raceviewmill.com and for more information on connecting to natural gas, visit www.firmusenergy.co.uk .