Hot on the heels of press reports identifying Ballycastle as the best place to live in Northern Ireland (and among the top 5 in the UK), the town held its own celebration of the area at The Diamond on Saturday 2nd April to mark the completion of the Revitalisation project.
Locals and visitors came out in their hundreds to enjoy a celebration day for all the family. It was a whole town effort and there was something for everyone – goods distributed on the street and at shops throughout the town. As well as this, fun and events for the children with a special appearances of Olaf and the Minions, the Ballycastle Market launched its monthly artisan market at The Diamond and also live performances from local musicians, not least the hugely popular local rock & folk group Altagore topping the bill.
Revitalisation is funded by the Department of Social Development (DSD) and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to assist the business community with improvements to their properties. The aim of the funding is to revitalise shop fronts to enhance and the streetscape and help boost the appeal of the area to shoppers and visitors.
Previously, Castle Street, Clare Street and the Seafront have benefited from the Ballycastle Revitalisation project. The recent improvement works to shop fronts at The Diamond, Ann Street and Quay Road marked the completion of the 3 year project.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan is delighted with the new look of the town, she commented, “Ballycastle’s distinctive collection of traditional shops has ensured its status as a conservation area, with many listed buildings reflecting the value of its historical heritage.
“I visited the town in January to launch the final phase of the Revitalisation initiative and I am very impressed with the transformation this has brought about. It has created a bright and cheerful shopping area perfectly in keeping with its built heritage and the sea side character of the town.
“Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is proud to have supported such a great initiative and I want to congratulate the traders and community for making it happen and for hosting such a wonderful celebration day.”
James McCaughan, President of Ballycastle Chamber, added: ‘Ballycastle Chamber has been very active in the Revitalisation project. As we approach the summer season, the completion of the scheme has been a great boost to the town.
“The overwhelming majority of shop owners are small businesses and it would normally be a challenge for many to meet the costs of improvements to such a level. Not only has the Revitalisation grant programme helped them do this, but it has also given them fresh motivation to ensure that Ballycastle continues to be a great place to shop, to eat and to explore.”
‘This has been a huge team effort and we want to express our thanks to the Town Partnership, the Community Development Association, the Revitalise Steering Group and to Council staff for all the hard work and dedication that went in to delivering such a successful Revitalisation project.’
For further information on the Ballycastle Revitalisation project, please telephone 028 2076 2225.