£2m vision for town centre

Broadway in Larne's town centre. INLT 22-432-PR
Broadway in Larne's town centre. INLT 22-432-PR

Designers behind the planned multi-million pound upgrade of Larne town centre have unveiled their initial proposals for the scheme.

The Department of Social Development has indicated there may be £2 million available for a public realm project focusing on the Main Street area, similar to the one already undertaken in Carrickfergus.

The work is aimed at making the town centre more attractive to visitors and investors, and has been earmarked for 2014/15, subject to an economic appraisal.

And Larne Borough Council’s design team for the project, URS Infrastructure and Environment UK Ltd, has put forward its vision for how the money could be best spent.

The proposals include removing the bandstand at Broadway and replacing it with a mobile stage,planting trees at various points along Main Street, installing new street lights, laying new paving stones and erecting contemporary new street furniture.

The designers have also suggested incorporating the names of streets into footpaths and making use of projectors, which would display moving images onto buildings and footpaths to create a sense of “dynamism” in the town centre.

When presented with the proposals at the latest development committee meeting, local councillors were mostly impressed by what they heard.

However, some members felt that the work should be extended into other areas of the town centre, such as Dunluce Street and Point Street.

But URS spokeswoman Catherine Adams said the £2m funding package could not be spread out any further.

The next stage of the scheme is the submission of the economic appraisal to the Department, as funding is not guaranteed until it has been approved.