Larne pupils offered one-off trip through Fort James fund

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Primary school pupils across the borough could be treated to a one-off event organised and funded by Larne Borough Council.

The local authority plans to make use of a £90,000 trust fund, set up over a decade ago to benefit all young people in the borough.

The pot of money was left behind by Fort James Ltd when the company closed Larne Paper Mill in 2002.

Larne Council was entrusted with administering the fund.

Over the past 12 years, the local authority failed time and again to come to an agreement over how the money should be spent.

But elected representatives are finally prepared to move forward with a plan to utilise the cash gift.

As previously reported, the council decided the most viable option would be to provide primary schools with a pot of money with set criteria on how it could be spent, such as training programmes for pupils.

Each of the borough’s 19 primary schools submitted plans for how they intended to spend the money.

There is a total of 2,307 pupils in the borough, which equates to an allocation of £39 per head.

At the latest meeting of the Fort James Steering Group, councillors discussed the possibility of organising a one-off event that all primary schools could take part in.

Chief executive Geraldine McGahey suggested that the community relations officer should write back to the schools to advise that a sum of £39 was to be allocated to each pupil, and giving them the option to attend a one-off event organised by the council.

If the schools wished to spend the money on a training scheme instead, such as cycling proficiency, then it must be made available to every child.

The two options available for a one-off event are a trip to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, or W5 in the Odyssey, Belfast.