Community and business leaders came together today to officially open a £560,000 business hub that will directly support regeneration in Ahoghill.
Ahoghill Business Centre on the Cullybackey Road aims to boost the economic and social prosperity of the area by providing state of the art business facilities and using profits to further develop the physical environment of the village.
The facility received financial backing from the International Fund for Ireland, Ballymena Borough Council and the Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) with significant additional funding coming from residents and firms in Ahoghill.
Ahoghill Business Centre was developed and is managed by the Ahoghill Community Property Development Company Ltd, a social enterprise made up of unpaid directors who work voluntarily to improve regeneration in Ahoghill.
More than half of the building’s seven office spaces and two retail units are already leased with owners reporting strong interest in the remaining spaces.
Speaking at the launch, International Fund for Ireland Board Member, David Graham OBE, said:
“The people behind this project are to be commended. They have worked hard to bring new facilities to Ahoghill which will bring not just new economic potential to the village but will also strengthen and underpin the local community in the long term.
“It is very encouraging to see that the Fund has contributed to a project that will have a long term, positive impact on a local community such as this.”
Ian Armstrong, Chairman of Ahoghill Community Property Development Company Ltd said:
“Our members have been working with International Fund for Ireland, Ballymena Council and UCIT for a number of years to bring the project to this stage and we would like to thank the representatives of all of these organisations for their support and guidance over the years.
“Establishing this centre took considerable effort and I would like to thank both the local businesses and residents of the village who have supported the company in our efforts to raise the money required, whether by way of donation or support for our fundraising activities. We are deeply appreciative of the very generous support and look forward to reinvesting the surpluses from the centre directly into Ahoghill.”
Congratulating Ahoghill Community Property Development Company Ltd on its success, Mayor of Ballymena, Ald. P. J. McAvoy said:
“Ahoghill Business Centre shows how businesses and communities can collaborate locally and across Northern Ireland. The centre is a testament to strong community spirit and commitment to proactively sustain business and social advance. The centre is not just supporting firms working and contributing to our economy, but is investing in the local community and long term development of the village. This is a world-class example of how businesses and communities can work together for mutual gain.”
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International Fund for Ireland
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