A NEW Robert Burns mural will be installed next year in Kilmarnock town centre to celebrate the national bard.

The mural is set to be located on John Dickie Street on a prominent gable end of the Civic Centre North.

The Kilmarnock Street where the mural will be installed is home to the Robert Burns World Federation.

Marc Sherland, director of the Robert Burns World Federation, said: “The mural is a wonderful way to express the simple fact that, if it were not for Kilmarnock printing the first edition of Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, Scotland and the world would not remember its ploughman poet."

Artist Michael Corr was chosen to design and install the mural after impressing the judges with his "unique artistic vision".

He said: “It's an honour to be entrusted with creating a mural that will engage and inspire the people of Kilmarnock.

“I look forward to working closely with the community to ensure the artwork reflects their values and aspirations.”

The selection process involved a pool of 33 artists who had submitted applications in order to be in with a chance of designing the mural.

Judges who selected the artist included a partnership of local groups such as Kilmarnock Business Association, East Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire Leisure and the Robert Burns World Federation.  

Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of East Ayrshire Council, said: "This mural will add vibrancy and character to our town centre, reflecting Kilmarnock's rich heritage and artistic spirit.”

A drop-in meet-the-artist session with Michael Corr will take place at The Robert Burns First Edition Summer Festival.

The festival will take place on July 27 between 1pm and 4pm at the Robert Burns World Federation Building.

The mural installation is subject to planning permission.