​Businesses invited to give their ideas for Ballymena and Larne ten year plan

Ballymena's famous Discount Day which would normally see the town centre bursting with bargain hunters has been 'postponed'.

Businesses in Mid and East Antrim are to be asked for their views and input into the development of a 10 year Investment Plan and Town Centre Strategy for both Ballymena and Larne.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the Department for Communities (DfC) are leading the process and want to engage fully with local business for their ideas on what the towns should become by 2030.

The Town Centre Strategy seeks to establish a vision for the towns and the Investment Plan will identify a range of projects and programmes which can deliver on that plan.

The Council and the Department recognise that the role of towns are changing and want to use this process to shape how Ballymena and Larne will develop across the 2020 to 2030 timeframe to meet the evolving needs of the local community and visitors to the area.

It has commissioned the services of Venture International Ltd and the Paul Hogarth Company to facilitate the development of the 10 year Investment Plan and Town Centre Strategy.

Council and the Department want to listen to the views of the town’s people and its business owners.

Over the next three weeks representatives of Venture will be engaging with the businesses via an online and telephone survey.

The feedback from the business community will be used to develop concepts and options for investing in the towns public realm, buildings, spaces and places to help support the sustainability of the existing business community, support new business activity and improve the overall experience of the two towns.

The concepts and proposals will be made available to the public online and through a series of public consultation events across both towns in September 2020.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “I am delighted to see the plans starting to come to life.

“We’re committed to seeing our economies thrive and I would encourage businesses to engage fully so the towns can become even more vibrant and a family-focused town centre with something for everyone to enjoy.”

The 10 year investment plan will also link in well with the Belfast Region City Deal which will see Carrickfergus receive a cash injection of more than £38million to boost the town’s reputation as a world-class heritage site and a must-visit destination for tourists from around the world.

Further information on the process and how to get involved can be obtained by contacting John O’Neil, Venture International john@venturei.org or Gail Kelly Gail.kelly@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

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