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The Courtyard in Carrickfergus boasts an array of independent businesses
The Courtyard in Carrickfergus boasts an array of independent businesses

Press release -

The not so secret garden drawing shoppers to Carrickfergus

Famous for its castle and coastline, Carrickfergus is also celebrating another jewel in its crown at The Courtyard. An oasis of independent retailers and coffee shops, this not so secret garden really does have something for everyone.

Just on the edge of the medieval town, visitors can pop in to enjoy and explore the tranquil courtyard garden brimming with blooms and bustling with local businesses.

Lockdown may have seen the high street come to a standstill, but for The Courtyard, they seized the opportunity to support traders and bagged six new businesses to add to the offering.

From barbers and beauticians to book shops and bakers, this area of the town is a truly local affair, showcasing the talent the independent retailers here have to offer.

The Courtyard’s Amanda Mitchell said it’s been a tough time for retailers during Covid-19 but they’re ready to welcome back all shoppers safely: “It’s no secret that retail and hospitality have been hardest hit by lockdown, but we are so proud here to have helped foster young and established businesses on their way to recovery whilst boosting our eclectic offering here.

“The Courtyard not only has an array of businesses here that you can come and explore, but it’s a scenic setting with its gardens and eateries that offers a break from the normal hustle and bustle of the high street and big brand shops. We’ve certainly noticed a growing appetite to support local retailers that can offer a more personal service. We’ve been working with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to ensure all our businesses here are good to go to welcome you back safely, and we can’t wait to see everyone again.

“It’s not just a place for businesses to grow here at The Courtyard, we are a community and a new Talking Shop invites innovative thinking and imagination, while providing an encouraging space for community-orientated ideas and experiments. Set up by Positive Carrickfergus we want to offer a space to discuss and explore the future of Carrickfergus with the people who live here.”

Some of the businesses you can enjoy pottering around include the renowned Mulberry Bush children’s boutique ran by Anita who can help you find the perfect gift or garment for your wee ones.

Father and son team, Gary and Warren have opened Mount 10 Gallery, a wonderful mixed genre gallery exhibits a range of different artwork, stunning photography, ceramics and local hand-crafted pieces.

Local artist Tom Stephenson is always nearby to share his vast artistic knowledge and you can enjoy his pun-filled sheep collection or take home a bit of the Antrim Coast with his local scenery pieces.

Joining the Courtyard community is local baker Sabrina who runs Baked by Bap and provides a whole range of cakes and bakes that can easily be designed to suit any occasion.

Angie's Corner café is opening in July offering vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and traditional fayre.

Bath-a-Licious Bath Bombs have diversified from a successful online business to selling all your pampering needs in a new store, fronting their on-site factory, which uses all responsibly sourced materials.

If taking the pampering home wasn’t enough, Kellie Courtney Hair Design and The Nail Room can offer you some respite from the shopping, or the Men’s Lodge Room barbers can be the perfect escape for those who aren’t the shopaholics amongst us.

Treating yourself or a loved one has never been easier as there are so many unique and unusual pieces on offer. The Silver Store is an exceptional jeweller with a beautiful selection of gold, silver and platinum pieces. The Secret Bookshelf sports new and pre-loved books, gifts and local artwork and JAVART provides an eclectic mix of homeware, giftware. It’s only one of four Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockists in Northern Ireland and Alison is full of experience and ready assist you with your latest upcycle project.

Lucinda’s lovely shop, Dreamy Gifts and Crafts is brimming with pressies and to celebrate in style after lockdown birthdays, why not look at her amazing balloon displays and arches.

For more information on how you can make your business safe for shoppers ready to rediscover Mid and East Antrim, head to council’s website to download your Covid Confidence pack.

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Notes to editors:

Press contacts

Chris Kilpatrick

Chris Kilpatrick

Press contact Head of Communications 07721 302 568
Annamay McNally

Annamay McNally

Press contact Press Officer 07721 305 586
Deborah Cummings

Deborah Cummings

Press contact Press Officer 07920 544 094
Megan Mackay

Megan Mackay

Press contact Press Officer 07827 802 643

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Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is a multi-award winning local authority which leads the way in the transformation of ever-more efficient and improved public services for its 139,000 citizens.

The traditional engine room of the Northern Ireland economy, the borough has a proud manufacturing heritage, diverse and dynamic business community, and a rapidly expanding tourism and hospitality sector.

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