Green flag for flagging ecos?

The Ecos Centre. (Editorial Image).

The Ecos Centre. (Editorial Image).

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Mid & East Antrim Council are to seek a Green Flag Award for a Ballymena facility which, it has been widely reported, has been flagging for some time.

Built as an educational tool for renewable energy and a model of sustainability at a cost of £10m, the ecos centre, it seems, is now anything but.

Fifteen years on, visitors have largely stopped coming, many displays are obsolete, the building is primarily used for office space and the roof has developed major leaks which will cost in the region of £300,000 to repair.

However, Mid & East Antrim councillors have taken a decision at committee level to fork out £625 to enter ecos along with two other council sites in the wider borough for a Green Flag Award in 2016.

The Council successfully entered four sites for Green Flag consideration in 2015, including the People’s Park.

Prior to taking the decision to pay for three further entries in the coming year, Council’s Operational Committee were informed by an officer’s report that the Green Flag Award was launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best

green spaces in the UK, providing the benchmark against parks and green spaces are measured with applications judged against eight key criteria which include - a welcoming place; healthy, safe and secure; and sustainability.

At the same meeting, members agreed a recommendation to extend the Public Path Temporary Closure Order for Summerfield Bridge at Ecos for a further three month period, to March 31. Earlier this year the bridge was deemed unsafe for public use.