Christmas Market set to be held in Ballymena

Ballymena prepares for Christmas.

TILLS could be jingling all the way as a Christmas market is set to be held in Ballymena this year, it has emerged.

Pre-Christmas markets in Ballymena, Larne and Carrick are in advanced planning stages with applications for road closures in the towns submitted in a drive to boost recovery in the trio of towns.

Belfast’s Christmas Market is not going ahead this year because of the covid pandemic but plans are afoot in Mid & East Antrim although a Council spokesperson stresses health and safety considerations will be paramount.

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “We are committed to the health, wellbeing and economic prosperity of our residents and businesses at all times.

“This is especially relevant as we guide our way through a global pandemic and consider all options to support those living and working in the borough.

“Mid & East Antrim Borough Council through the Town Centre Recovery Group is focused on supporting the local town centre businesses during these challenging times.

“As part of the town centre recovery and with the emphasis on ‘shopping local’, Council is finalising plans for Christmas Markets in Carrickfergus, Larne and Ballymena during December.

“The Markets will give local businesses and services an economic boost and also help raise the spirits of the community, giving everyone a much-needed boost during these difficult times.

“Due to ongoing Covid considerations, the Christmas Artisan and Craft Markets, while traditional in spirit, will operate in strict accordance with all Public Health Agency Guidelines and will be under constant review throughout its development and duration.

“The Council has commissioned Urban Market NI to manage the markets in all three locations.

“Social distancing measures will be in place, sanitising stations will be located throughout, and face masks must be worn at all times.

“Council will continue to monitor the coronavirus infection rate and reassess the safety measures in place in line with current legislation.

“Local market traders specialising in artisan and craft who are interested in a having a stall should contact urbanmarketni@gmail.com before the 30 October.

“To adhere to social distancing requirements there will be limited availability, and eligibility criteria will apply,” the spokesperson said.

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