A Ballygally resident is seeking the support of local schools to launch an arts project aimed at regenerating Larne’s town centre.
Andy King is the founder of The Larne Renovation Generation social media page, which was created in order to promote and revitalise the Larne area’s built heritage.
The page provides a forum for the public to discuss what they would like to see happen in the town, with Andy himself recently mooting the idea of a Game of Thrones museum at Larne courthouse.
Andy, who works as a Behaviour Support Assistant at Ballyclare Secondary, told the Times: “Larne Regeneration Generation is a wee group to stop the stigma which Larne faces from people ouside the town.
“I want to start a fight back to improve Larne and get the general public to improve it instead of waiting for the council.
“There are some great ideas out there.
“I am now hoping that the schools could get involved to do projects to help to improve Larne town centre.
“For example, they could paint non-political historical murals or artwork on the sides of buildings as part of art projects, which could count towards their GCSEs or A-Levels.
“Everyone would take pride in the schools’ artwork.”
Andy, who previously spent 14 years working in the Royal Air Force, says that Larne should emulate the example of other towns and cities who have employed eye-catching artwork to brighten their centres and attract tourists.
“Across Europe there are some very interesting projects going on,” he continued.
“There is CowParade, which sees different life-sized cow statues in multicoloured designs in cities and towns and makes it more interesting.
“Quite a lot of famous people have come from Larne but we don’t have any statues in the town.
“There could be a collage of artwork reflecting all the things that are good about the town which could be created by A-Level or GCSE students or primary schools.”
Andy is also seeking to address the criticism which Larne has received from tourist guidebooks such as Lonely Planet, which he feels do not accurately represent what the town has to offer.
On his social media page, he has created a collage of picturesque images featuring local landmarks such as The Gobbins, Carnfunnock Country Park and Chaine Memorial Page to counteract the Lonely Planet statement that “poor old Larne is a little lacking in the charm department.”
Anyone who wishes to discuss getting involved in the art project can contact Andy through the Larne Renovation Generation Facebook page.