‘The Bank’ in Portglenone reopens

Portglenone Enterprise Group (PEG) have restored the former Northern Bank in Portglenone into a community hub and office space.

They secured funding for the restoration of the B1 listed building from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, The Rural Development Programme, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Ulster Garden Villages, The Foyle Foundation and The Enkalon Foundation.

Seven first floor business units will help sustain the community and exhibition space on the ground floor. The bank will be a focal point for the local community with easy access to local history and heritage exhibitions and talks, activities, and support services focusing on a healthy thriving community. Norman Worthington, PEG Chair said: “We are delighted to have received this support from all funders, we have been able to preserve ‘The Bank’ for another century.”

Speaking after a visit to the premises by Minister Edwin Poots, MEA LAG Chair, Kelli McRoberts said: “PEG has worked hard in transforming the derelict and disused building into a mixed-use development comprising of social, community, heritage and economic use. It was a pleasure to give Minister Poots a tour of the building to show how the funding has restored the rich heritage of the building back to life with a focus on the provision of a community hub.” Mukesh Sharma, Chair, NI National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “This project will enable the group to safeguard this important local landmark, whilst also providing opportunities for the local community to explore its past and create new stories for the future.”

Pictured outside the old Northern Bank Building is MEA LAG Chair, Kelli McRoberts; MEA LAG Vice Chair, Alderman Audrey Wales MBE; Portglenone Enterprise Group Director, Norman Worthington; National Lottery Heritage Fund, Mukesh Sharma MBE; DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots and Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston. The building has been converted into a community hub and office space by Portglenone Enterprise Group (PEG), which received almost £150,000 from the LEADER element of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme. Photo Kelvin Boyes/PressEye