MEA Council explores sites for coastal tourism masterplan

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Mid and East Antrim Council’s Policy and Resources Committee is exploring sites to include in a Causeway and Mourne Coastal Routes tourism masterplan, which would see three sites from each local district developed to appeal to visitors.

The initiative, which began in 2014, saw Tourism NI approach Larne Borough Council, Ballymena Borough Council and Carrickfergus Borough Council to submit up to three locations or sites each that could be developed to attract visitors for consideration in the final Masterplan.

These “tactical” sites excluded existing major tourism sites such as The Gobbins or Carrickfergus Castle.

Each Council was required to pay £5000 to submit up to three locations or sites to the Masterplan.

However, Larne Borough Council was the only predecessor council to submit suggestions and funding of £5,000, nominating Carnlough signage/heritage trail, an Islandmagee/Whitehead walking trail and improvements to Larne promenade.

At an MEA policy and resources committee meeting on April 20, members voted to reconfirm the three sites selected for Larne and for council officers to research potential sites in Larne and Ballymena.

Six committee members were also nominated to consult with Tourism NI on the masterplan.

These were Cllr Gordon Lyons, Cllr Maureen Morrow, Cllr Cheryl Johnston, Cllr Audrey Wales, Cllr Paul Maguire and Cllr Ruth Wilson. The report is to be presented at a full council meeting in May.