Support our borough’s craftspeople this Christmas

Support our local #MEArtists and craftspeople this Christmas – that’s the message from Mid and East Antrim Council as the Borough prepares for the busy Christmas shopping period in the weeks ahead.

Following a motion which was brought to Council by Alderman Audrey Wales MBE, Council is encouraging shoppers to consider purchasing handmade arts and craft produce as gifts for friends and family this year.

Alderman Wales said: “In Mid and East Antrim we are blessed with a wonderful array of exceptionally talented artists and craftspeople, each producing exquisite, artisan crafts and produce. Their wares make for the most thoughtful gifts for any occasion – be it a special ‘piece of home’ for friends or family living abroad, or simply a beautiful display of intricate craftmanship, often using materials sourced from across the Borough.

Our local artists and craftspeople are crucial to the culture and heritage of Mid and East Antrim and, as they continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic, we are encouraging local shoppers this Christmas to show their support by giving the gift of local craft,

Two bespoke pieces made for the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge by Vera McCullough who has a number of items for sale in the Visitor Information Centre at the Braid.

“Council, too, remains strongly committed to doing everything we possibly can to support our local artists and craftspeople, and to encouraging a thriving arts scene in Mid and East Antrim.”

The work of several local craftspeople is exhibited and available to purchase in the Visitor Information Centre at Council’s Ballymena headquarters at The Braid, including: Vera McCullough Jewellery – bespoke jewellery. Vera was commissioned to design a brooch and cufflinks to be presented to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their visit to Mid and East Antrim in 2019.

WB Woodcraft – items crafted from local, exotic and reclaimed wood and materials.

Lucy Craig Textiles – heritage items such as photographs and other memorabilia preserved onto textiles and combined with hand embroidery. Country Slate Gifts –unique handmade slate gifts for the home and garden.