The centre secured planning permission from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the construction of the landmark Primark store after announcing in May 2023 the new anchor tenant’s plans to relocate to Fairhill.
To facilitate the move, River Island will be relocating to a prime location within the scheme unveiling a new format store totalling approximately 11,000 square feet, with work already commenced.
Toytown is also moving to a bigger unit which, along with a range of short-term rentals this Christmas, will signal a triumphant return to total capacity for the first time since circa 2017.
River Island will look to unveil a new concept shop fit, taking two floors of retail space within the centre.
“We are thrilled with the pace of developments at Fairhill and are particularly excited to secure River Island in a new unit at the very heart of Fairhill,” said Ryan Walker from Magmel (Ballymena) Limited.
“The new River Island store represents the beginning of a new chapter for Fairhill, with a modern and vibrant range of retailers driving Ballymena back to the top of the list of must-visit retail destinations. We look forward to the new store opening in time for Christmas.”
Mark Thallon from TDK Commercial Property Consultants in Belfast, continued: “We have been delighted with how well the news of Primark coming to Fairhill has been received. The relocations of River Island and Toytown complete the first phase and we look forward to building on this with several other exciting new openings to follow in the next few months.”
Toytown will relocate from their existing store to a two-storey retail space adjacent to JD Sports, Next and New Look.
The larger retail space to be occupied by Toytown will create an improved shopping environment for toys and accessories, with a dedicated area for their nursery department, known as Babyworld.
Kris Simpson from Toytown, added: “We are very excited to work with Fairhill in relocating within the centre and the opportunity to provide our customers a better shopping experience in Ballymena.”