Work to begin on major regeneration projects

IT has been announced that work will begin shortly in Antrim town centre to refurbish the former Wellworths building on High Street and to create an exciting new open space at Ulster Bar Corner.

As part of an extensive town centre revitalisation scheme this brings empty and derelict sites in the town centre back into use and supports activities that attract more people into our town.

The scheme, which totals £8.1m, will include the refurbishment of the first floor of the old Wellworths building into new social enterprise and business start-up office accommodation, the opening up of the back of the building to provide new business accommodation as well as the work already underway to refurbish and then extend the boardwalk along the river.

The first phase of this opening up project will commence shortly with the appointment of the construction company for the building works, JPM Contractors.

The corner of High Street and Railway Street in Antrim known as Ulster Bar Corner, has been vacant for many years and is about to come back to life as a new open community space.

This new space will consist of an area for events such as urban markets, pop-up cinemas and music concerts as well as a landscaped, green recreation space for the community.

These projects are supported by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Department for Communities and the Levelling Up fund.

Meanwhile, refurbishment works, estimated at £2m, are due to commence later this year on Steeple House and the surrounding parkland.

Development of the park area will include new accessible pathways, interpretative signage and promotion of the historic Round Tower. The original stable block will be converted into a flexible exhibition area, workshop and café.

In addition to the redevelopment of Steeple House, partner on the site Apricot Heathcare Ltd, will be developing a modern purpose-built community and health facility - as exclusively revealed in the Antrim Guardian in January.

Steeple House, the former council HQ, was gutted by fire three years ago.

See more in the paper next week.

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