Science Park role for Ecos

ecos. (Submitted picture)
ecos. (Submitted picture)

Ballymena’s Ecos Visitors’ Centre looks set to become a hub for the NI Science Park.

At last Thursday’s planning committee of Mid & East Antrim Council, members agreed a recommendation by Planners to approve an application by the local authority to change the use of the Centre at Kernohan’s Lane to NI Science Park office accommodation.

Senior Planner Kyle Patterson said the application related to the change of use of part of the existing building involving 800sq.m. of floor space over four floors “to make use of an existing under utilised building” which, he added, could “provide 20 jobs and associated economic benefits”. He said the proposed use would not create any conflict with existing uses on the site and that no objections had been received.

The internationally recognised Belfast-based Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) offers a commercial and research driven centre for knowledge-based industries.

Mr Patterson recommended that the committee support the Planning Department’s recommendation to approve the ‘change of use’ application to provide office space for NISP at ecos.

Cr Stephen Nicholl said he understood that accommodation would be for “significantly more” than 20 workers.

“Hopefully, 150 people at the site,” he stated.

The committee gave approval on the proposal of Ald. Tommy Nicholl, seconded by Cr Audrey Wales.