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Council sees bigger picture and bins bid to erect £3,000-a-pop yellow frames after online backlash

National Geographic frame

Council has seen the bigger picture and binned a proposal to erect yellow steel ‘selfie’ frames across the borough after an angry online backlash.

Armagh I first revealed proposals to sign up to an initiative under the auspices of National Geographic.

The plan had been to erect large steel frames at selected locations across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.

It has since been confirmed that the frames could cost around £3,000 each and the council could have been spending up to £20,000 to sign up to the initiative.

When we first revealed details of the recommendation, there was an angry response from the public.

And when the council’s regeneration committee sat in February, reference was made to the “quite critical” online reaction.

The meeting – coincidentally held on the same evening that council agreed to the annual rates rise – saw the matter being deferred for further information and questions to be answered.

When the matter came back to the same committee this week, there had been no change to the thinking, despite committee hearing the proposal described as “invaluable” and and one which would “reap rewards”.

Councillors felt they could not just the expenditure which would have been required to press ahead.

There had also been concerns over the nature of the frame, with one DUP councillor saying they “looked like an eyesore”.

This ‘yellow frames’ initiative is a Northern Ireland-wide co-operation project involving the use of the iconic National Geographic magazine border to create metal structures that ‘frame’ various locations of interest.

The proposal had been to have a maximum of five or six in each council area, if council signed up.

The frames are made from galvanised steel, powder coated and maintenance-free for 20 years, council had been told, situated to “capture an iconic background allowing visitors to take ‘selfies’ and normal photographs through the frames”. They were to have been supplemented by publications commissioned, such as maps and brochures.

A number of sites were already being considered to locate these frames, which were “subject to further discussion”.

And the report to committee last week highlighted: “The frames will stay in situ for as long as they are attracting tourists to the area; this will be dependent on visitor number monitoring.”

The council would have paid about a quarter of the overall £80,000 estimated cost, had it gone ahead.

But the committee did not accept the recommendation.

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