Confusion over Santa’s grotto in Larne town centre

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There was confusion over where Santas’s grotto would be located and how many venues for the seasonal visitor Larne would have in October 1995.

Local traders had expected there to be one grotto at the Town Hall, but some councillors were pressing for another to be built at Carnfunnock Country Park. This had been the venue for the attraction in previous years.

There was criticism in 1994 over the council’s efforts to promote Larne town centre in the run-up to Christmas, and efforts were being made to avoid controversy in 1995. £5,000 had been set aside by the council for Christmas promotions, providing this was matched by traders on a pound for pound basis.

Mayor Sam McAllister said traders had been told that there wouldn’t be a grotto at Carnfunnock if one was organised in the town centre.

Cllr Tom Robinson said there was no reason why two grottos could not run side by side. A decision was deferred until further discussions with traders had taken place. The Tourism, Leisure and Community Services Committee was not due to meet again until November, with a decision not expected until the start of September.