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Antrim and Newtownabbey

£189million A6 Randalstown to Castledawson Dualling Scheme

The Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon is pictured cutting the ribbon with the McNaughton Family from Woods Primary School.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has opened the completed A6 Randalstown to Castledawson Dualling Scheme ahead of the final weekend of works on site.   

The £189million scheme to upgrade 14.7 kilometres of the A6 North Western Transport Corridor between Randalstown and Castledawson commenced in June 2017 and represents an investment of £189m by the Department.

On Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 May, the final works to remove the remaining cones and temporary traffic management arrangements will be completed and by Monday 31 May the entire 14.7km of the road will be open for road users with national speed limit in place. 

During a visit to the area today to congratulate all those involved in delivering the scheme, Minister Mallon said: “This is an exciting time for road users, the local community and all those involved in delivering the Flagship A6 Randalstown to Castledawson scheme as we celebrate the completion of works this weekend.  I’m delighted to have the opportunity today to meet some of those who have worked tirelessly on this project over the past four years.     

“In August 2019 and again in November 2020, stretches of the new dual carriageway were completed and gradually opened to the travelling public. This has already brought significant benefits for road users.  The final completion of the scheme is therefore fantastic news for the 22,000 vehicles using the route each day.  Car users, freight and public transport services along this route will benefit from shorter, safer and more reliable journey times. Crucially this will also allow our emergency services to achieve faster response times when assisting our citizens in need.  

“The scheme has also helped to secure jobs in the construction industry, with the vast majority of construction spend going directly to the local economy.  Significantly the project provided local employment opportunities for education leavers and the long term unemployed as well as training placements for apprentices and students across a number of disciplines.  This has been an invaluable experience for all those involved and will assist them in their future careers.”

Continuing, the Minister said: “The A6 is a strategically important route, as it connects the North West to Belfast and beyond so I’m delighted that in addition to this scheme opening my Department continues to progress the Flagship £220m A6 Dungiven to Drumahoe Dualling scheme which will see the construction of a further 25.5km of dual carriageway and a bypass of Dungiven.  Significant progress continues to be made on that scheme and it is on target to be completed in 2022. 

“The construction of both these schemes will improve connectivity, contribute to the economic development of the area and bring long term benefits to road users and local communities.  Crucially they will also improve road safety and improve regional balance.”  

Acknowledging the support of the local community and the partnership working to deliver the scheme, Minister Mallon said: “I want to acknowledge the impact of the works on residents, landowners, businesses and road users.  Delivering extensive improvements to the roads infrastructure cannot be done without causing significant disruption.  I’m sure at times this has been very frustrating, particularly for those living in the vicinity of the works, so I want to thank the local community for their cooperation and understanding over the past four years.  I hope that everyone will see the wider benefits this road is now providing.

“A project of this size and significance requires partnership working across a number of organisations to ensure it runs smoothly.   The job of constructing such a major piece of Infrastructure is no mean feat and two of our largest contractors, Graham Construction and Farrans, have worked together in a Joint Venture along with our consultants AECOM, designers ARUP and Roughan & O’Donovan and many sub-contractors and suppliers to deliver this project. I am also very grateful for the input from public sector partners.  To all involved, you can be rightly proud of your contribution to this impressive new road.”

Leo Martin, Board Director of GRAHAM FARRANS JV said: “The completion of the A6 Randalstown to Castledawson dualling project will unlock a huge infrastructure route for the North West Transport Corridor and we are delighted to have played our part in delivering this.

“Since first breaking ground in summer 2017, we have overcome multiple engineering challenges and managed the project through strategic weekend closures to maximise safety and productivity throughout the project. This has been a huge scheme that has brought the scope and breadth of our civil engineering expertise into sharp focus.

“I would like to thank all stakeholders involved in the project for their tremendous efforts and to the public and businesses on the route for their patience and cooperation while we were improving this important highway.”

Antrim and Newtownabbey

Summer is Sorted with On Screen Summer Scheme

Calling all kids aged 4 to 14!  Join us online for our free On Screen Summer Scheme from 5 July and enjoy a jam packed schedule of activities each week day.  Discover dance, Scientific Sue, skateboarding, Chinese dragon making, golf and much more!

Activities will be grouped into five themes, Theatre, Education, More Skills, Arts & Crafts and Physical Activity with the timetable repeating every two weeks.  As the sessions are online, you will be able to play back any of the classes at a time that suits you.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb commented,

“I am delighted that we are able to provide virtual summer schemes this year.  With almost 50 different activities on offer, there will be plenty of choice when it comes to entertaining the children over the summer months”.

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Antrim and Newtownabbey

Thinking of Applying for a Antrim and Newtownabbey Council Leisure Grant?

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb launches this years leisure grants. Pictured with Deputy Director of Parks and Leisure Matt McDowell.

Good news for all sports enthusiasts in the Borough!  Applications are now open for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Leisure Grant Aid Programme. The programme aims to assist in the promotion and development of sport within the Borough and is open to all local Sports Clubs and individual athletes who meet a set criteria. Financial assistance can be received for training and competition costs, running of local sporting events, coach education, and facility improvement.

Newly elected Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb commented:

“The Leisure Grant Scheme has been in place since May 2015 and has significantly benefited numerous elite athletes and sports clubs.  A recent review of the programme has helped make the process simpler and clearer for applicants and offers new opportunities to local athletes, clubs and officials.

To apply for a leisure grant visit https://antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/grants/

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