New bandstand will be 'out of this world' says Mayor

Thursday, 8 March 2018

New bandstand will be 'out of this world' says Mayor thumbnail

BALLYMENA'S controversial new bandstand will begin to take shape in the coming weeks -  signifying the end of the mutli-million pound public realm scheme.
According to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council the "iconic and cutting-edge structure" at Broadway  will breath "new life into the heart of the town".
The new bandstand forms one part of the 4.2m regeneration scheme in Ballymena. A third of this scheme has been paid by ratepayers, with the remainder of the funding provided by central government.
In a statement council said the new bandstand will "finally provide citizens with a fit-for-purpose outdoor community space in the centre of Ballymena".
It will "serve as a hive of activity" for outdoor events, markets and festivals to promote culture and the arts, additional community activity and ultimately increase footfall within the town centre.
The reveal of the new structure will coincide with the beginning of work on its  predecessor's new home. Council ensured extra care was taken when dismantling the old bandstand and it will be rebuilt in the People's Park in the coming months, where it can be enjoyed by citizens and visitors for generations to come.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said: "This is a hugely exciting time for Northern Ireland's top shopping town - Ballymena - and Mid and East Antrim as we approach the final stages of the town's public realm scheme.
“Some of our citizens have jokingly likened our new bandstand to a spaceship. I would agree with them to the extent that as a fantastic new centrepiece and entertainment hub, the new bandstand is truly out of this world. If anything, 'grandstand' is more appropriate when you consider the wealth of opportunity provided to our citizens by this investment.
“Unfortunately, given the size of the old bandstand, it has only ever been able to accommodate small-scale events, speakers and entertainers.
“Consequently, it has been under-used in its current location.
“The public realm scheme, including the new bandstand, is a signal of intent by this Council to do all in its powers to ensure and facilitate major investment in Mid and East Antrim.
“The scheme is a substantial regeneration project and is vital to securing strong future economic growth, generating jobs and bringing more people to Mid and East Antrim.
“With any project of this scale, not everything runs exactly as intended all of the time, and we have faced challenges and hurdles along the way.
“However, thanks to the vision of our partners, including the wonderful traders of the town, the finish line is firmly in our sights.
“This scheme will enhance public space, accessibility, commercial attractiveness and safety within the town centre, ensuring that Ballymena is fit for purpose for at least the next 20 years."
Ronan McCann, President of Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents businesses throughout the Ballymena area, said: "I am delighted the public realm scheme is now entering its final stages and that this major regeneration and revitalisation project is near completion.
“At a time when businesses throughout Northern Ireland are facing challenging conditions, it is absolutely vital they are given all the necessary support to bolster trade and encourage people into our town centres.
“Ballymena is rightly regarded by many as the best shopping town in Northern Ireland, and this work will be instrumental in safeguarding and growing the unbeatable attractions on offer."
A consultation process for the new public realm scheme, including the new bandstand, was completed in May 2013 and at the time, won awards for public engagement.
If anyone wishes to contact council in relation to the scheme, email
You can also follow council on Facebook and Twitter for further updates.


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