Market to move

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

BALLYMENA’S traditional Saturday market could be set for a new lease of life after it was decided to move it closer to the centre of town.

The market, which was associated with the original Fair Hill site for more than 100 years was moved to its present location near the Seven Towers Leisure Centre in the latter years of the 20th century.

Now, as the town seeks to bounce back from the economic ravages of the COVID pandemic it has been decided to relocate the market to Ballymoney Road car park.

Four sites were explored throughout Ballymena with the Ballymoney Road location judged to be the most suitable to accommodate traders and customers.

Alderman Audrey Wales MBE proposed the recommendations and it was seconded by Councillor William McCaughey.

Alderman Wales, said: “This is a new beginning for Ballymena’s Saturday Market.

“It signals a new future and a move that will ensure the future sustainability of the market within the context of promoting the town centre and its economic recovery plan.

“As restrictions begin to lift we will start to see people return to the town centres and we want to do everything in order to support our traders in this new normal.

“Council recognises the importance of the Saturday market and this new location will allow accessibility for more traders and customers.

“The aim is to benefit visitors, shoppers, and traders and ultimately help breathe new life into Ballymena Saturday Market.”

It was decided that the location, close to the town centre, which is one of the main arterial routes into Ballymena would attract more people and it is also within close proximity to the bus and railway stations.

The date of the move for the market from the Seven Towers Leisure Centre to the Ballymoney Road Car Park will be announced in due course.

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