Former Raceview Mill in Broughshane to become a tourist attraction
When photographer Roy McKeown bought the historic Raceview Mill in Broughshane, his planning consultants recommended that he demolish it.
Instead, he has been restoring the old mill, uncovering its vaulted brick ceiling and oak beams with a view to creating a spectacular mixed-use development that will draw tourists to the scenic village of Broughshane.
The most recent discovery was the huge 20-foot turbine that was once used to power the mill, uncovered this summer.
The massive piece of machinery has now been sandblasted, cleaned up and painted and has been installed at the front of the site as a focal point.
Roy believes he can use the site to generate around 100 jobs and draw tourists to the village. He has been gathering old photos of the mill workers and wants to create a "village within a village," featuring a mixture of housing, enterprise units and hospitality.
"Housing is necessary, but creating space for people who would like their fledgling business away from their garage and front room makes for more sustainable employment," he says.
"Not a shopping outlet, but not a museum either – a vibrant place where almost everyone is making things, or is involved in creativity or the arts and crafts, complete with coffee shops, storage areas, a restaurant, art gallery and so on."
The first phase would be to build new workspace for local enterprises, designed in a similar style to the mill buildings. These could be up and running by February, leased from £35 a week.
Later, the old mill buildings could be used for storage for the units and arts and crafts.
A later phase could see the creation of boutique hotel rooms overlooking the river and the transformation of the main building in to a restaurant, remodelling the old water tower in to a glass tower with views of Slemish.