The Raglan site in Ballymena’s Queen Street has come a long way from its origins as a public house to its proposed new role as a business and community multi-purpose building.
And the the journey of the ‘Raglan Community Development Renovation Society’ reached a very important milestone last Friday, when the Raglan renovation project was officially launched at a reception hosted in the Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union offices which form part of the building.
The event was attended by over forty invited guests, including the mayor of Mid & East Antrim Council, Councilor Audrey Wales MBE, Jim Allister MLA, Phillip Logan MLA, Mervyn Storey MLA and Robin Swann MLA., plus local Councilors, Council Officials, local business and community representatives.
Mayor Audrey Wales said it was extremely satisfying to see how the project had developed in such a short space of time.
Tracy Wallace, Chair of the RCDRS, said the group’s aim was to make use of the Raglan premises as a multi-purpose building which could be used for the benefit for both local community and local business alike.
On behalf of Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union Ltd., Robin Andrews said they were ‘only too glad’ to lease the portion of the Raglan building that they did not require for their business use to the Society.
William Millar Treasurer of the RCDRS said it was envisaged that the renovation itself will be paid for through a ‘cocktail of finance’ including; grant funding, finance package and a Community Share Offer, the exact details of which will be made available to the general public in approximately six weeks time.
Tiziana O’Hara of Co-Operative Alternatives explained that the overall Raglan Project was a first in Northern Ireland, where a Credit Union has been able to support a Community Share Project.