Village renewal projects will make 'significant contribution'

MEA Mayor Lindsay Millar.
MEA Mayor Lindsay Millar.

Plans are in place to deliver a total of 18 village projects in the Mid and East Antrim area by March 2020, local councillors have heard.

The schemes will be proceeding under the joint Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Village Renewal Programme.

The projects include a new floodlit MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) in Ballycarry, an upgrade of public access to the beach and environmental improvements in Ballygally; the enhancement of Whitehead coastal park and promenade, and serviced motor home facilities within Glenarm village.

There will also be acoustic enhancements to the community hall in Islandmagee and the provision of a small car park to serve the village hall in Glynn, along with some external storage facilities at the hall; a community garden in Gleno, and environmental enhancements at Carnlough harbour.

It comes after MEA Chief Executive, Anne Donaghy, and council officers secured additional funding of £200,000 for the programme from the Department in March of this year.

This was matched by funding of £170,000 from the local authority.

During the August meeting of the local government authority, members heard that the schemes will be developed over six phases to ensure that the deadline of March 31, 2020 is reached.

Village Renewal is core funded 75 percent by the Rural Development Programme and final applications are being made by the council to the Mid and East Antrim Local Action Group (LAG), who administer the funds locally.

Commenting on the plans, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar said: “These projects will make a such a significant contribution to our communities and [their] delivery necessitated the development of a phased implementation programme.

“It is critical that the roll-out of the programme is kept on time.”