Businesses praise Larne town centre public realm work

Public realm works being carried out at Lower Cross Street, Larne.  INLT 44-651-CON
Public realm works being carried out at Lower Cross Street, Larne. INLT 44-651-CON

Larne traders have voiced their support for the ongoing public realm work in the town centre.

The £2.2m scheme, which began in July, will see the installation stone kerbs, stone paving, semi-mature trees, street furniture, signage and street lighting in Larne town centre.

Despite being faced with some disruption, many business owners in the Upper Main Street area are pleased with how the work is progressing.

Norman McClay of EW Ramsey and Son funeral director told the Times: “The contractors have been fantastic, I haven’t a bad word to say about them.

“They have been in very co-operative and have bent over backwards to ensure my business continues to operate smoothly during the works.”

Dominic Watt of Watt’s Butchers added: “There has been some disruption but that is to be expected.

“Trade doesn’t appear to have been hit too hard and I want to thank my customers for continuing to make the effort to shop here, despite the ongoing works.

“When it is all completed it will be have been worth the wait.”

Michelle Doran of Elle Beauty said: “I would say passing trade has been hit, but we mostly work to appointments so it is not too bad.

“It has been a bit of an inconvenience and customers have to park a bit further away while the work is being done, but at the end of the day it will improve the town and make it more modern and vibrant, so I am all for it. “

But not all traders were pleased with the situation.

Ellis Cahoon of Prestige Flooring on Lower Cross Street said: “The street was dug up for over a week, so getting access to deliveries was a complete nightmare.”

The public realm project is currently progressing on schedule; phase one in lower Main Street is complete – except for the installation of new lighting columns – and phase 2 in High Street and Upper Main Street is now underway, with some of the paving already in place.