The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey has paid tribute to the Tower Centre in Ballymena as it celebrates an important milestone. First opened in 1981, the shopping centre this year celebrates its 40th Birthday.
Now home to over 50 stores – including Sports Direct with Game, Primark, Dunnes stores, Boots, Poundland, and B&M Bargains – the Tower Centre continues to be a hub for retail in Ballymena town centre.
“The Tower Centre has become somewhat of an institution in Ballymena over the past 40 years,” said Councillor McCaughey. “In fact, it was the Tower Centre, along with our rich offering of independently owned shops and eateries throughout the town centre, that first put Ballymena on the map as a go-to shopping destination in Northern Ireland.
“With continued investment from a range of owners, including current owner Sam Morrison, and thanks to its diverse offering of stores that also includes the Council run pop-up shop for Ballymena, the Tower Centre has maintained its reputation as a centre of choice for shoppers across Northern Ireland.
“In recent months we have been hugely encouraged to see shoppers flock back to Ballymena following lockdown periods, reassured by commitment of the Tower Centre’s management and stores and other local retailers to providing a safe and welcoming shopping experience amid continued Covid-19 measures.”
The Mayor continued: “On behalf of my Elected Member and officer colleagues at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, I extend my very warmest congratulations and thanks to the Tower Centre and its staff, retailers and customers who have made it one of the many jewels in the crown of Ballymena’s town centre.
“We wish the Centre every success for the upcoming busy Christmas shopping season and very much look forward to welcome shoppers from near and afar to Ballymena over the festive period.”
Tower Centre Asset Manager Hugh Black – who managed Dunnes Stores in the Tower Centre when it first opened in 1981 – described it as being “in a very good place”.
“The secret behind the Tower Centre’s success over the past 40 years has really been three-fold,” he said. “Firstly, our rich and varied offering of retailers that ensure the Centre really has something for everyone. Secondly, the unfaltering loyalty of our customers – many of whom have visited the Centre, week in, week out for four decades.
“And, finally, the outstanding support and encouragement we receive from Council, Ballymena BID and our neighbouring retailers and businesses. There is a strong sense of community within Ballymena town centre, and it is ultimately this that keeps the shoppers coming back.”