Larne is preparing for a right royal celebration

COMMUNITY groups could be given a cash injection to help them celebrate the Queen’s upcoming Diamond Jubilee.

Larne Borough Council will invite groups to apply for a share in a £5,000 grants pot, allowing them to organise events such as street parties to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The national celebrations will centre around an extended weekend from Saturday, June 2 to Tuesday, June 5.

The council’s initiative will be similar to last year’s Royal wedding grants scheme, which was well-received and saw a total of seven local groups granted up to £500 each.

The local authority is also set to mark the milestone anniversary and may spend up to £20,000 on a range of events and activities.

On Monday, June 4, the council plans to team up with Larne Alive to recreate an afternoon of 1950s family fun at Town Park. There will be fancy dress stalls, face painting, live music, old fashioned games, vintage motorcycles, arts and crafts, dancers, jive lessons, walkabouts and circus entertainers.

At 10pm that evening, the Queen will be lighting a beacon following a concert at Buckingham Palace. To coincide with this, Larne will join other boroughs in lighting one of a chain of national beacons across the UK. A similar event was held at the Golden Jubilee in 2002.

The celebrations will not just be contained to Larne town however, as the council plans to enhance floral displays in the borough to mark the occasion. The Lord Lieutenant of Co Antrim presenting an award to the council with the best Diamond Jubilee themed displays.

The local authority also has something special in mind for Glynn. To mark the fifth anniversary of the opening of Jubilee Park in the village, council staff will begin making environmental improvements to the park and hope to involve the local community in the scheme.

In addition to the events that will be taking place in the borough, Larne Council is also considering participating in several other county-wide initiatives to commemorate 60 years of the Queen’s reign.

The council has agreed to take two tables at the Lord Lieutenant of Co Antrim’s Jubilee Ball, and is considering becoming involved in the Co Antrim Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Souvenir Booklet. Each participating council will be allocated two-pages to publicise their events and any other interesting connections to the Royal family.

Another initiative being considered is the purchase of party packs for council-sponsored street parties or events. These packs could consist of paper crowns, balloons and other novelty items.

The council could also take part in a joint procurement initiative to purchase commemorative Jubilee medals for every P7 school pupil in the borough, at a cost of £1 per medal.

Director of development for the council, Linda McCullough has indicted that the total cost of taking part in all these events would fall between £15,000 - £20,000.