At Antrim Castle Gardens, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council announced their sponsorship for the 2018 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally.
The John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally will rev into the Borough on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 August. The drivers will speed off from the Antrim Castle Gardens and will stop at major controls in Ballyclare on Friday and Randalstown on Saturday. The two-day rally is part of the major European, British and Irish rally series.
Action Packed Weekend
The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Hamill, commented: “It is fantastic news that we are supporting the rally and bringing it back to the Borough. The last time we hosted the event in 2012, almost £1million of economic benefit was generated and we hope to increase on this for 2018. I hope everyone is geared up for this action packed weekend.”
Robert Harkness, Event Director commented: “We are delighted with the terrific support from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and it is great to see the rally returning to the Borough. We are looking forward to a large entry as the route takes in some of the most challenging roads in County Antrim. We also encourage plenty of spectators to join us for the start and finish in the award winning Antrim Castle Gardens”.
John Mulholland, John Mullholland Motors commented: “I am thrilled that the Ulster Rally is returning to our home Borough and we are sponsoring this prestigious event. It is always fantastic to help raise awareness and promotion of motorsport in Northern Ireland. I also compete in the rally and I’m looking forward to the challenging County Antrim stages.”
For more information about the event, including details of the stages and times, visit here
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 www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/ruralbusinessgrants or text Business Rural to 80039.
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.