A LARNE community group is celebrating after receiving a cash windfall that could help them reinstate a local landmark.
Plans are afoot by the Tullygarley Residents’ Association to replace the ornate fountain that was once a centrepiece of the area, but was removed after being damaged in a car accident over 50 years ago.
And to the joy of local residents, the Department of Social Development has awarded a grant of £11,500 towards the project, which has been a long term aspiration for the group since its inception five years ago.
Bangor artist David Dudgeon, who crafted the beautiful wrought iron railings already installed in Tullygarley, has been commissioned to design and produce an intricate Edwardian structure, based on the fountain at Chaine Memorial Road.
Chairman of the residents’ association, Rusty Johnston told the Times he was “delighted” that the Department had agreed to fund the project and called it “great news” for the area.
“This was one of the first things on our agenda when we set up the association, alongside the provision of a playpark, replacement of the paramilitary mural with public art work, and the introduction of an environnmentally-friendly to replace the Twelfth of July bonfire with,” he said.
“We have achieved all those other aspirations, so this fountain is one of the last pieces in the jigsaw for regenerating the area. Residents of Tullygarley are very pleased that this scheme has taken another big step forward.
“The finished fountain, which will be for decorative purposes only, will be a real focal point for the area.
“Some of the residents, including my wife Lynne, have fond memories of the original fountain. In fact, it was Lynne who came up with the idea for this project in the first place, so she is obviously delighted at this news.”
The DSD grant is reliant on the community group securing planning permission for the fountain, which is to be located on the traffic island that separates Glynn Road, Circular Road and Bank Road. The site is owned by Road Service.
Mr Johnston was to meet with Geraldine McGahey, the chief executive of Larne Council, yesterday (Wednesday) to ask the local authority for financial assistance in submitted the planning application.
“It is our hope that the council will cover the fee for the application to planners, and we can then reimburse them once the funding becomes available,” he added.