A new anchor tenant has been announced for Antrim Town’s Castle Mall, the first significant investment in the scheme, following its acquisition by local owners, Keneagles Ltd in August 2021.

Creating 10 jobs, Northern Ireland-based Lynas Food Outlet will open its doors in late Autumn, with works due to start middle of May 2022 to restructure part of the mall to facilitate the large 8,500 sq ft store.

The Lynas Food store will be accessible from the central carpark, enhancing the exterior wall of the scheme, which has remained untouched since opening its doors in 1980. Mascott Construction will be carrying out the building work, creating 30 construction jobs in total for the work on the new store.

The sizeable new food outlet is part of the family-owned wholesaler’s ambitious expansion plans to reach 18 stores by 2024 and will carry new product lines including their exclusive restaurant quality ‘Frozen For Freshness’ range, own brand Chefs’ Selections, big pack fresh chicken fillets, multipack bulk value deals as well as Lynas’ extremely popular own-brand butchery label, Causeway Prime.

Discussing the new store in Castle Mall, Lynas Foodservice Chief Operating Officer, Gary Mills said: 

“We are thrilled to see work beginning in Castle Mall for our latest Lynas Food outlet. Antrim is going through a huge regeneration and with more investment in the town centre and additional family homes under construction, we see the potential in this catchment area and are delighted to not only bring our product range to the town but also create additional jobs throughout the construction and retail operations.”

Pamela Minford, Centre Manager at Castle Mall commented: 

“I am thrilled to report the power of customer loyalty and an already strong footfall at Castle Mall has led to further retailer investment at the scheme. 2022 has been a positive year for shaping retail and we have been on a growth trajectory since the transfer to the new owners in 2021.

“Lynas Food will reshape Castle Mall completely by opening it up onto central carpark and inviting customers to continue their shopping experience right through the centre. We have a strong local community in Antrim who want to see Castle Mall succeed and this is just the beginning of our regeneration strategy with further exciting development plans to come soon.”

Located directly across from Antrim Castle Gardens, one of the most unique and historically intact gardens in the UK and Ireland which welcomes 500,000 annually, Castle Mall’s rejuvenation facilitated the upsizing and relocation of Holland & Barrett, Specsavers and Card Factory within the centre. Recently a new Vietnamese-style coffee shop, Banh Boy Antrim also opened bringing a taste of Southeast Asia to Antrim town as well as pet shop, Furbies which is due to open in June 2022.

Discussing the importance of this announcement, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb said: 

“I am delighted that the new owners of Castle Mall have secured Lynas as an anchor business for the centre. As a well known brand in Northern Ireland, Lynas will undoubtedly be a big attraction for shoppers and will be key to the further development of this part of Antrim. The Council working with the private sector has developed really ambitious plans for Antrim and looks forward to implementing these over the coming years.”