£200m plan to transform former Army site in Ballymena into retail and office powerhouse
A former Army barracks in Ballymena could be transformed into a £200m "economic powerhouse" amid redevelopment plans.
The 36-acre St Patrick's Army barracks site could include a large leisure and retail development, along with hotels, offices and housing.
There have also been plans earmarked for a new PSNI 'district command base'.
The vast area has been derelict since the Ministry of Defence closed the barracks in 2007, before gifting it to the Northern Ireland Executive in 2011.
And the entire proposed redevelopment could cost up to £200m.
Communities Minister Paul Givan said the proposals "aim to breathe new life into this site through a varied mix of uses".He continued: "The location of the site is quite close to the town centre, so it is important our plans make best use of it and its potential to bring economic, social and cultural benefits to the whole area.
"The plan also takes account of travel linkages, with provision for pedestrians and cycle users and proposed new transport roads which will open up wider access and the potential for future development opportunities."
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Audrey Wales MBE, said: "I am very excited about the development of this iconic site in Ballymena and see it as a flagship project within the whole borough.
"The St Patrick's barracks proposals are aimed at not only encouraging enterprise, but also at making the maximum use of this large site's close proximity to the town centre and main commercial area."