The Gateway to Ballymena

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th November 2014
Picture credit ©Matt Mackey/Presseye.com
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A development scheme with the potential to create over 1000 jobs was announced today in Ballymena. The Gateway project is a ground breaking public private partnership which will develop a 97 acre site adjacent to the Seven Tower’s roundabout providing training, social intervention services, social housing, a church, a motor village and food retail. 
The Gateway project has grown out of the collective vision of the five project partners; Green Pastures Church, Gateway Social Investments, Compassion Ministries, Connect Ministries and The Wright Group.

Al McComb, Gateway Social Investments; Mark Nodder, The Wright Group; Mark Donley, Compassion Ministries; Pastor Jeff Wright, Green Pastures Church and Trevor Dunlop, Connect Ministries pictured with plans. The potential creation of 1,000 jobs in Ballymena has been announced. The Gateway project is a public-private partnership which hopes to develop a 97 acre site adjacent to the Seven Towers roundabout providing training, social intervention services, social housing, a church, a motor village and food retail outlets. It has, according to its supporters, the potential to make an annual contribution of £40 million to the local economy.

The Gateway would create a headquarters for the Wright Group, providing 100 new manufacturing training and apprentice places each year. It would also provide 485 care places. The model claims to be 100 per cent sustainable in commercial, social and economic terms. Project leader Jeff Wright remarked on its importance in an area of high social need where 40 per cent of the adult population is economically inactive. Construction will begin in mid-2015 subject to planning approval.

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