£55,ooo ‘Legacy Book’ is shelved but civic awards set to proceed

The Braid. BT8-268AC
The Braid. BT8-268AC

Plans to spend over £50,000 producing a high quality, coffee table-style ‘Legacy Book’ on the history of Ballymena have been shelved by the Council.

Last September, councillors gave the go ahead for the project involving an initial print run of 5,000 144-page books at a cost of £55,000.

At around the same time, it was agreed to spend £30,000 on ‘Recognition Awards’. Both initiatives were aimed at ensuring the ‘legacy’ of Ballymena before it merges with Carrick and Larne Councils to form the Mid & East Antrim authority under the Review of Public Administration.

Updating last week’s July Council meeting, Acting Chief Executive Rodger McKnight confirmed that while the Awards are to go ahead, the Legacy Book is to be replaced by the publication of a 24-page glossy full colour commemorative Ratepayers’ Magazine.

It is understood that the book was deemed unviable after being subjected to a business case appraisal and further research.

Mr McKnight said the magazine, which would “capture the legacy of Ballymena Borough Council from creation to last day” should be ready for distribution to each household in February or March of next year.

Included within its pages would be a message from The Mayor and a detailed list of all the First Citizens down through the years.

There would also be an economic profile, plus ratepayers’ news and more.

The Acting Town Clerk said that as a further ‘legacy’ event, Recogition Awards would be hosted during March “as a final celebration of Ballymena Borough Council” which would be an opportunity for them to honour citizens who had excelled in their chosen field and/or contributed greatly to the community at large.

Back in October, last year, councillors agreed to bestow recipients of ‘Recognition of Contribution to the Ballymena Borough Awards’ with a specially designed Seven Towers Medal.

It is understood awards nominations will be open to the public and that these will be sought later this year.

It is also understood that the winners will be decided according set council criteria.