Call to (finally) make Larne a Best Kept Town

Doreen Muskett MBE, President of the NI Amenity Council, Philip Thompson of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Michelle Hatfield, Director of Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility at awards sponsors Belfast City Airport, Alison Diver of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and Joe Mahon, Patron of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council

Doreen Muskett MBE, President of the NI Amenity Council, Philip Thompson of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Michelle Hatfield, Director of Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility at awards sponsors Belfast City Airport, Alison Diver of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and Joe Mahon, Patron of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council

Larne has failed to win a single Best Kept Town award in the the 59 years that the competition has run to date.

The revelation came as the scheme launched an appeal for towns and villages in the Larne area to enter its 60th anniversary year event, as it launches under a new title sponsor.

The initiative, which is organised by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council in partnership with Belfast City Airport, seeks to identify and celebrate Northern Ireland’s best looked-after towns, villages, schools, healthcare facilities and housing areas.

First established in 1957, the competition has grown over the years and now includes 89 awards across six categories.

Yet while neighbouring towns and villages such as Ballyeaston, Antrim and Broughshane have clinched several accolades, Larne itself has failed to scoop a gong.

Speaking at the launch event, Patron of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council Joe Mahon said: “This is a special year for everyone involved with the Best Kept Awards.

“The competition brings together a host of enthusiastic volunteers from across the country, all with the common goal of fostering civic pride and improving their local community.

“For many towns and villages, the programme represents a highlight of the year, and the chance to see the coveted Best Kept sign erected in their communities ensures the competitive spirit is always strong.

“We are anticipating over 500 entries this year and would encourage everyone to take part.”

For more information on how to enter an awards category, visit www.niacbestkept.com or call the Northern Ireland Amenity Council on 028 9040 3681.