Ballymena outdoor market to re-open

Ballymena outdoor market is to open again from this Saturday onwards.

Thursday, 21st May 2020, 9:42 am
Outdoor markets in Mid and East Antrim reopening to the public
Outdoor markets in Mid and East Antrim reopening to the public

Outdoor markets in Mid and East Antrim are to be reopened to the public, with strict social distancing measures in place, the Group Party Leaders on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have agreed.

Two council-run markets, in Ballymena and Larne, as well as Carrickfergus Market, which is run by the YMCA, will open for the purchase of essential grocery items including food.

Ballymena Market will be open again from this Saturday onwards but car boot sales will not take place at it until further notice.

Council agreed the decision after considering the value of the weekly markets to traders, shoppers and the borough’s heritage.

The development underpins Council’s commitment to supporting business growth and development in the local area.

In order to protect the health and safety of the public, traders and council staff, a number of changes to the operation of each market will apply.

The markets will open from 9am to 12 noon, with set-up from 8am, and customers will not be permitted access until 9am.

Council staff will be present in Ballymena and Larne to assist with social distancing measures, while customers will be required to adhere to a one-way system of shopping and queuing.

Welcoming the decision, Alderman Audrey Wales MBE, said: “I am very pleased that Council has agreed to reopen the three outdoor weekly markets, in line with the necessary public health guidelines, in order to provide for the sale of essential items. It is so important that we support our local farmers and producers.

“Ballymena Weekly Market has been operating in the town for many years and its origins date back to the 1600s, when King Charles I stipulated a Saturday market under the terms of the sale of the land that Ballymena is built on.

“The reopening of the markets will help provide a safe shopping experience and support the local economy as we move through the first tentative steps towards the easing of lockdown restrictions.”

Larne Market will reopen on Wednesday next, May 27, and Carrickfergus Market from Thursday, May 28.

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