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Antrim and Newtownabbey

The Traditional Ballyclare May Fair Returns for 2018

Ballyclare May Fair returns to its traditional roots this year from Saturday 19 until Saturday 26 May. The May Fair celebrations begin with a movie screening in Ballyclare Town Hall.

Action Packed Week

The traditional horse fair feature of the historic May Fair returns to Ballyclare Main Street on Tuesday 22 May. Local musicians, as well as your Uncle Hugo, will get your toes tappin on May Fair Tuesday with plenty of music and entertainment in the town.

To rev up your May Fair Tuesday even more this year is the brand new Soap Box Derby! From 6.30pm, Ballyeaston Road will become a mini race track as competitors race against each other to be crowned champion. On Wednesday 23 May make sure you bring your furry friends to Ballyclare Town Hall for the annual pet show and pet photo booth at 6pm. Then from 7pm, everyone will get to enjoy half price amusements.

Ballyclare Male Choir will entertain everybody with a wonderful concert featuring four local young singers, on Thursday 24 May at 7.30pm in Ballyclare Town Hall. Tickets cost £10 each and are available to purchase here.

May Fair Parade

Saturday 26 May sees the return of the fantastic May Fair Parade, departing from Dennison Commercials at 1pm, when the town will come alive with colour. There is plenty of fun and entertainment for everyone which continues into the evening from 7pm, with a Shania Twain tribute act. Then from 8pm, Ritchie Remo and his band will delight fans of all ages with his charisma and musical talent.

To light up the town and close the Ballyclare May Fair for 2018, a fantastic fireworks display will take place at 10.15pm on Saturday 26 May.

Full details of all activities are included in the programme, which is available here. Check out the website and the Ballyclare May Fair Facebook page, for information on car parking and road closures.

Antrim and Newtownabbey

Last Call for Rural Business Development Grant Applications!

Are you a small business in a rural area of the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough that would benefit from a grant of up to £4,999? Then make sure you apply for the Rural Business Development Grant Scheme!

Applications are currently being accepted by the Council on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) through the Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme (TRPSI) with a deadline of 12pm on Friday 30 July.  
The grant of up to £4,999, at a 50% grant rate is applicable to capital items such as equipment, machinery, computers and an e-commerce website. To be eligible to apply, the business must have less than 10 full-time equivalent employees and not have benefitted from the grant previously. 
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb commented: “There isn’t long left before the application process closes, so I would encourage the small rural businesses of the Borough to apply now. With just under £5k available to these businesses, this can be a great helping hand to those that are recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, as well as the opportunity to grow and develop their business. On behalf of the Council, I would like to thank DAERA for the £62k funding made available for these grants as well as absorbing the staff costs.”  
Applications close at 12pm on 30 July 2021. For more information including eligibility criteria or to apply visit or text Business Rural to 80039. 

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Antrim and Newtownabbey

Plans Approved to Secure the Future of Steeple House

Works are set to begin at one of Antrim’s most historic sites to refurbish Steeple House to its former glory. A Grade B+ listed building, Steeple House sits within a 17 acre parkland site which also includes the Antrim Round Tower, a scheduled monument which served as a bell-tower and place of refuge from raiders and is one of only two complete towers remaining in Northern Ireland.  

Once the location of a former medieval monastery, Steeple House was built in 1827 by the Fawcett family and later became the headquarters for Antrim Borough Council. A fire in July 2019 caused extensive damage to the listed building including the loss of its roof.   

Vice-Chairman of the Council’s Planning Committee, Alderman Fraser Agnew MBE said: “I am delighted that the plans approved by the Committee this evening will secure this important part of our local heritage. The plans ensure that Steeple House will be restored to its pre-fire condition, respecting the character, architecture and historic interest of the building. The planning proposal also received support and was commended by the Historic Environment Division, the Department responsible for listed buildings in Northern Ireland.”  

In addition to the refurbishment of Steeple House, there are plans by the Council for the wider park including new interpretive signage and pathways to promote greater access to the site, showcasing the Round Tower as a unique feature. Plans are also being developed by a third party to develop a section of the site as a healthcare facility. 

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