Slideshow: Ballymena’s surprising shopfronts

Having put £160k of DoE ‘dereliction funds’ to good use in the town earlier this year, Ballymena Borough Council are to submit another bid for cash to upgrade more empty premises in the town centre and outlying villages.

Some 27 properties have already been treated to temporary ‘facelifts’ and this time round, the hope is that £110,000 will be made available to give others a much needed makeover.

The Department for Environment allocates the funds to complete ‘cosmetic work only’ to improve the overall appearance of empty buildings which in turn improves the ambience of town centres.

All dereliction funded works agreed by the DoE were completed back in March and full costs claimed from and paid for by the Department, councillors were informed at their Economic Growth & Development committee meeting last week.

Members were told that those works, which included external painting, imaging to shutters, vinyl inserts and virtual shop fronts to derelict premises, have “had a significant impact on the town centre and villages”.

The bid for further funding in the June monitoring round will be for derelict premises that have yet to be upgraded and/or for which permission was not given previously.

Councillors heard that these latest properties will include 23 premises on Wellington Street, Linenhall Street, Bryan Street, William Street, Alexander Street, and also premises in Portglenone and Cullybackey.