Project ‘banking’ on support to purchase premises

The village of Portglenone
The village of Portglenone

A plan by Portglenone Enterprise Group to purchase and develop a former bank in the village has received Council support at committee level.

At their latest meeting, members of the Mid & East Antrim authority’s Economic Growth and Development Committee approved an officer recommendation to issue the Group with a Letter of Offer up to a maximum of £210,335 for the proposed scheme at the former Northern Bank building.

The committee was informed that Council funding would only be released when match funding had been secured for the purchase by the Group who, it was pointed out, were in the process of identifying and securing the necessary finance.

Members were reminded that the former Ballymena Borough Council was supportive of plans by the Group to purchase and refurbish the former PSNI station in the village and that “all parties were disappointed” when that proposal failed to reach fruition.

They were also informed that the development of the former bank premises had the potential to “significantly impact and enhance the quality of life in Portglenone by providing physical regeneration, building community capacity, creating employment and more.

The officer’s report to the committee stated: “There is recognition the project can provide a centralised resource encouraging co-operation, sharing of resources and connection of stakehholders operating in Portglenone and has strong support from the community and statutory agencies”.