The Chairman of Moyle District Council Dónal Cunningham has made an impassioned plea that Ballycastle should be a graffiti and flag free town.
Following the removal of town centre graffiti, SDLP Ballycastle councillor Cunningham said the town has long been an example to other areas displaying a neutral and welcoming environment to everyone.
Cllr Cunningham said: “A lot of effort has gone into trying to regenerate and revitalise Ballycastle town centre, with many properties benefiting from the shop front improvements which were part of the Revitalise project in Castle St and Clare Street. “The daubing of graffiti or erection of flags negates this good work.
“Tourists and visitors are welcome in Ballycastle where they can see at first-hand how a community should live, how people and businesses support each other and how our schools and churches work in partnership.
“In the years to come Ballycastle will face many economic challenges, not least of which will be to preserve its unique welcoming ambiance and attractive streetscape.
“The graffiti artists and flag wavers would be better served involving themselves in the efforts to promote and improve the town,” he concluded.
Still on the theme of revitalising the town centre of Ballycaste, the chairman of Moyle Council has also called for support for an arts and exhibition centre for the town.
Following a proposal from the chairman, Moyle Council have agreed to explore all the possibilities for the future of the ‘Craft Connections’ building on Ann Street as an Arts and Crafts exhibition centre for the area.
The Ballycastle councillor said he believed that the centre could act as a link for locally based artists and craftspeople, and would further promote the Arts and Crafts sector which exists in Ballycastle, Rathlin Island and the Glens of Antrim.
Councillor Cunningham said: “We have such a rich variety of artists and craftspeople. We are home to a huge variety of talents such as potters, painters, photographers, sculptors, jewellery designers and furniture makers and much more.
“Promoting our local arts and crafts serves also to promote the whole region, and can bring benefits for all year round. Once visitors discover how beautiful our area is and the quality of arts and crafts on offer they will want to keep coming back.
“I believe there is still a huge potential for this industry to grow further by targeting the tourism industry and encouraging visitors to visit Ballycastle, Rathlin Island and the Glens to sample art and craft.
“Once we mark Moyle out as being somewhere that nurtures and encourages arts and crafts, we will be sending out the message that it is a great place for artists and crafts makers to earn a livelihood, and the sort of place where young and talented people can build a career,” he concluded.