THE prospect of a major retail renaissance in the heart of Antrim took a significant step forward this week.
The Castle Mall will be undergoing redevelopment works following planning permission being granted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
The scheme will see visual improvements to the shopping centre’s façade as well as the amalgamation of several existing unoccupied units to facilitate a major new retail offering, ‘enhancing the overall shopping experience’.
The shopping centre’s landlord is currently liaising with a national food retailer regarding the site which could potentially see over £1.5million investment into the development and further repurposing of the centre.
Planning Committee chairman Councillor Sam Flanagan said it was also good news on the jobs front.
“This development and potential investment is fantastic news for Castle Mall that will provide a significant boost for Antrim Town,” he said.
“The Council is working hard to help with the recovery of our town centres and this scheme will certainly contribute to the rejuvenation and revitalisation of the town, improving the overall appearance of the centre whilst creating a more attractive place for visitors and residents to shop.
“It is anticipated that the proposal will also result in a significant jobs boost for the area and I look forward to the opening of the new facility in the very near future.”
Full details of the planning application are available to view at the Planning Portal www.planningni.gov.uk
Former Mayor, UUP councillor Jim Montgomery welcomed news that planning permission has been given to the redevelopment of Castle Mall.
“Now the much-needed improvements to it and the town centre can now commence.” he said.
“The plans for Castle Mall and that whole area will bring big improvements to retail in Antrim and provide people with better choice when shopping.
“With the welcome news that a national retailer is opening in Antrim, this will help both existing businesses by attracting people in to the town and also encourage other businesses to open because of increased shopper footfall resulting in greater choice and variety for people.
“The changes will take time but with the significant changes taking place Antrim will be a much more positive town to spend time in.
“Coupled with the recently announced new investment in The Junction, Antrim has positive times ahead.”