Building Community

St. Patrick's is a shared housing development consisting of 135 new social and affordable homes. It's a shining example of what 'community' means in Northern Ireland today. But you can’t ‘build’ community without first building houses. And that’s exactly what Mark Connor and MJ McBride have come to Ballymena to do:

In today’s world, it is easy to be concerned with community-oriented, social issues. But remember, you can’t have community without shelter. And without shelter, well, there would be a lot more social issues to be concerned with!

Builders like MJ McBride make ‘the world go ‘round’ – they make the aspirations of the St Patricks Community possible. They consider their work on the site, as you can see from Mark’s interview, as a continuance of a rich and ‘living’ history that has permeated the area for centuries that now can be shared for generations to come.

It is clear to see MJ McBride’s community ethos through their projects in the community and through the social clauses within the St Patrick’s site contract. They prefer working on shared housing estates that bring together people from different socioeconomic and community backgrounds. Moreover, they give back to the community by providing training and recruiting opportunities for young people living around their sites, building community capacity and helping young people to develop a trade and confidence, which is a win for everybody. They have a healthy obsession with quality which provides the bedrock for a community to thrive.

“In the past, it was a case that a builder built things and that was it. Now, for a construction company to operate in a community, they have to work with the community. That’s something we have taken onboard and gladly adapted to. It enriches us all and really creates a sense of community from the first brick laid to the last family ‘through the door’.”

Speaking with Mark gave us an appreciation for construction workers everywhere, who work in an industry in which they often do not receive the credit they deserve. They make community possible.

Radius Housing’s team are excited to be welcoming residents into MJ McBride’s new high end, cost efficient and cozily constructed properties.