Council officers to take on town centre management roles

Council officers are to take on management of the town centre as part of a programme from Carrickfergus Regeneration Partnership.

Details of the roles were outlined at Monday night’s meeting of the local authority during a presentation from chairman Robert Stewart.

To facilitate delivery of the partnership’s 12-month business plan, the local authority agreed to provide up to £20,000 worth of funding to supplement the two part-time positions.

The first role will see a community regeneration manager take on responsibility for drawing down external funding for new project initiatives.

The officer would be expected to develop a strategy for the partnership, and will also source and deliver Phase 2 of the ‘Revitalise’ programme for High Street and West Street.

Meanwhile, a second role of town centre officer will focus on the borough’s retailers and traders, working closely with landlords to maintain the upkeep of commercial properties and negotiate terms for new businesses.

They will also work with the town’s business parks to promote and make use of facilities, and will be expected to produce a ‘town centre strategy’ for the partnership.

Also in the pipeline for the town centre officer will be progressing an application for the Purple Flag Award, which is given to town centres that meet standards of excellence in managing their night-time economy.

Meanwhile, both officers will be expected to develop and implement a programme of training and support for local retailers.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Stewart said: “Carrickfergus Borough Council will soon cease to exist and we are also coming to the end of the DSD funding stage one, so we want to be prepared for whatever RPA brings in and have someone in place to continue the work that we have been doing.”