Colour Bar


The Harryville area of Ballymena was once known as a thriving industrial area with mills and shoe factories, a sense of purpose and an open, welcoming community renowned for its kindness and friendliness. For 200 years, The Raglan Bar was a centre for this community until it was virtually destroyed in 1976 by a bomb, following the blast the Raglan was rebuilt and once again took its place at the heart of the community.

By the late 80’s, early 90’s the business of the Raglan went into decline which eventually led to it closure as a Public House in 2000.

These intervening years were also very difficult for the area as a whole and Harryville is now an area of multiple deprivation with the loss of traditional industry, a decline in job opportunities, a moving population and a decreasing sense of community empowerment.

But things are changing. A portion of the Raglan building has already been renovated, led by local people, and in 2015 the Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union moved into the ground floor. While this has already had a major positive effect on Harryville, a major portion of the building has huge potential but is yet to be developed.

In early 2016, the same local people, plus a little help from others who have come on board, formed a community co-operative - the Raglan Community Development & Renovation Society – to benefit the community by enhancing and creating social capital in the local area. The renovation of the Raglan building will cost more than £1 million, and the public, our principal stakeholders, have the chance to buy Community Shares to demonstrate community confidence to lever in grant and loan funders.

Who We Are

Our board is made up of local people who see the potential for bringing heart back into Harryville.  We welcome new members to the board so if you have an interest in helping us develop The Raglan, please get in touch.

Stephen Burns (Chairman)
Stephen is the pharmacist at Ballee Pharmacy. A blow in to Ballymena and originally from Fermanagh Stephen has been a pharmacist for 16 years having previously worked for Bairds in Newtownabbey and East Belfast. He moved to Ballymena in 2009 when Ballee Pharmacy opened. He has worked on a number of Building the Community Pharmacy Partnership projects over the last 7 years and is keen to promote healthcare and health education in our community. Stephen has been involved in community work with the local Church and has a strong interest in developing new opportunities for local people. Stephen has brought a fresh insight in our project and good business skills.
William Millar (Secretary)
William (Billy) has worked as a volunteer in the community/voluntary sector for the last fifteen years, currently the Treasurer of Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union Ltd. and Ballee & Harryville Workspace Units. Billy has just turned fifty years of age, the last thirty-four years of which has seen him employed in the ‘private sector’ as an electrician at the JTI or as it’s better known the Gallaher a Tobacco Plant in Ballymena. During his time in the tobacco industry Billy has had the opportunity to travel across Europe both for his patent company and in his quest to enhance his ‘social awareness’ skills as a Trade Union Representative.
Stephen Nicholl
Biog for Stephen
Tom Johnston
Tom's Bio

The board is receiving secretariat support from Tiziana O’Hara from Co-operative Alternatives through the delivering the Community Shares, Ready! project commissioned by the Building Change Trust.