Happy 400th Coleraine!

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MORE than 150 school children from across the borough gathered at the Diamond in Coleraine to help launch Coleraine 400 last Friday.

The pupils were joined by Mayor of Coleraine, councillor Sam Cole, together with members of the Coleraine 400 Steering Group.

2013 is the four hundredth anniversary of the granting of the Coleraine Town Charter by King James the First in 1613. The Charter gave Coleraine the right to hold markets, send an elected representative to Westminster, and provided the historic town centre layout that we now use.

The Charter explains the formal presence of markets in the town for 400 years and the structure of local civic governance that we now know as Coleraine Borough Council.

Speaking about this symbolic milestone in the history of the borough, Mayor Cole said; “Coleraine Borough Council encourages visitors to come to the town during this significant anniversary year.

“The current town centre layout has been here for 400 years and we will be taking time during the year to reflect on where we have come from and what we can look forward to over the next 400 years in Coleraine”.

Chair of Coleraine 400 Steering Group, councillor Mark Fielding is encouraging community groups to come forward with any plans to recognise 400 years of Coleraine Town Charter and join in the programme of events.

He said: “The full programme of events will be launched in March 2013, so if your Community groups would like to include an event in the programme which fits into the C400 brief, Council welcomes any suggestions. Please contact Leisure Services on 028 7034 7234.

“Over the coming year there will be a wide variety of activities for everyone to enjoy, allowing us to share in this important anniversary.

“Some of these events include: a vibrant Coleraine 400 Festival, taking place on 28th and 29th June; Coleraine 400 schools programme with support from The Honourable The Irish Society, commencing in February; a Coleraine 400 Exhibition by Coleraine Museum opens in May at Coleraine Town Hall to explore the complex history of 17th century Coleraine; and The Honourable The Irish Society is holding ecumenical Church Service in St Patrick’s Church in March to mark their 400th Anniversary. There will be something of interest for everyone”.