A bright future ahead for Mariners Court residents  Posted on 26 June 2024

The Communities Minister Gordon Lyons has officially opened Clanmil Housing Association’s new £7.2m development in Carrickfergus.  

The Minister met residents of Mariners Court at a summer celebration event which marked the official opening of the new homes.  

 The 48-apartment development is supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme.  The Programme has its origins in the NI Executive Together: Building a United Community Strategy, which reflects the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society.   

Following a tour of the scheme, during which he met some of the residents as well as the building team and representatives from the NI Housing Executive, Minister Lyons said: 

 “I am pleased to officially open this new shared housing development in Carrickfergus, which will provide homes to address the housing need that exists in this area. I commend Clanmil Housing Association and all those who have been involved, as well as the range of organisations whose collective efforts have been instrumental in driving this residential project forward.  This apartment scheme looks to the wider outcomes which will help to build a sense of community for the people who live here and foster good relations in the area.” 

 Formerly the site of the Courtaulds textile factory, Mariners Court brings a new lease of life to what was a derelict landscape and provides modern homes for people on the social housing waiting list who are aged 55 and older.  

The apartments were built by Clanmil with the assistance of £5.4m from the Department for Communities including funds allocated for the implementation of Good Relations and community development projects as part of the development’s ‘shared’ ethos. Clanmil is working in partnership with local Advisory Group stakeholders and with Mariners Court residents to develop the scheme’s Good Relations plan. 

To mark the official opening of the development, the Minister was joined by residents and the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Beth Adger, MBE, to plant an ornamental fruit tree.   

Residents celebrated with a BBQ lunch and enjoyed music provided by young musicians from the NACN Coole studies, a Newtownabbey-based charity which supports young people interested in the creative arts industries.   

Maeve Monaghan, Chair of Clanmil Housing added:  

“We were delighted to welcome the Communities Minister to Mariners Court to officially open the new homes. Developments like this one demonstrate Clanmil’s commitment to tackling the high housing need in Northern Ireland.  

“As well as providing high quality accommodation for those aged 55 and older on the housing waiting list, Mariners Court is being promoted as a shared development, giving people the choice of living alongside neighbours from many backgrounds and traditions. The people who live in Mariners Court are helping to shape the future and Clanmil is supporting them as they settle into their beautiful new homes and new neighbourhood. We look forward to seeing the further development of this site in the years to come.” 

  Samuel McClure and his wife Frances moved into one of the new apartments earlier this year. After living in South Africa for 20 years, the couple moved back to Carrickfergus and, having lived in a two-storey house, were keen to downsize.  

 Samuel said they are ‘delighted’ with their new home and added: “It’s a great apartment. We have fantastic views and lots of light and space, as well as friendly neighbours.” 

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Beth Adger, MBE, commented: 

“It was an honour for me to attend the opening event and to meet the new residents of Mariners Court. I welcome the positive impact that the new apartments will bring to this part of Carrickfergus and I wish the new residents all the best in their new homes.” 

The new homes have been constructed to Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards which ensure added security and ease of adaptation if required later.  


Mariners Court opening event
Communities Minister Gordon Lyons with Maeve Monaghan, Chair of Clanmil and residents Samuel and Frances McClure