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Ballymena Church Street

Last June I blogged about the public realm scheme in Ballymena here. It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year now. It’s even harder to believe when you walk around the streets, that the progress of this project has been so slow and problematic.

The public

Here’s some recent feedback from a business owner in Ballymena – source here. This echoes much of the feedback that has been heard over the past twelve months.

Without the townsfolk continuing to support us in spite of the mess, I would be gone. From a trading point of view the scheme has been a nightmare. One deadline another has been missed. You only have to look at the original plan to see how far the works are behind.

The powers that be

And then here is a recent quote from a council meeting – source here.

Whilst it was acknowledged that public realm works resulted in a degree of disruption, the statistics showed that in reality, the scale of the direct impact on the town was not as severe as the anecdotal feedback received to date.

The complete disconnect from reality is stunning. The arrogance of this statement is worse.

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The harsh truth

This might sting a little but, I believe the people who think your feedback is anecdotal can no longer be of any help… not everyone will agree with that of course but, they have failed us. They will continue to fail us. They have nothing of worth to contribute to commerce in our town. More grants, schemes and funding won’t fix this. A finished project with a space-ship for a new bandstand, will not fix this. The effects of this omni-shambles will hang around our necks for years to come.

A whole town supporting local business might get us out of the mess but, it needs the entire town to rise up and engage… I’m not sure how realistic that is or what that looks like. It needs a heart change, a deep concern driving the people of this town to action.

I want to be more optimistic but right now, I’m not feeling it. I’m fed up.



To read and engage with an ongoing and more positive Ballymena story, check out Ballymena Today and share our conversation… we write dozens of articles every month, many of which are solely about local businesses, organisations and real people.