£50k Ulster-Scots stories project for Gobbins cliff top path

The Ulster-Scots Agency is funding new signage at an East Antrim tourist attraction to the tune of £50,000.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 5:42 pm

The signage will be located at the upper path at The Gobbins in Islandmagee.

The project is at design stage and is expected to be completed by the end of March.

The display will incorporate the history, heritage, flora and fauna and views at the clifftop location.

Ian Crozier, Chief Executive, of the Ulster-Scots Agency, said: “The Gobbins, which attracts many thousands of visitors each year, presents us with an excellent opportunity to highlight the rich Ulster-Scots heritage of Islandmagee and the wider East Antrim area to a local, national and international audience.

“Our investment will see a wide variety of Ulster-Scots stories told along the Gobbins cliff top path, which is free and offers a very different walking experience from the paid attraction down at sea level, including breath-taking views of Scotland.

“We believe that this will become an increasingly important part of the offering at the Gobbins as the attraction grows in popularity.”

According to a report presented to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Borough Growth Committee, The Gobbins has had 1,706 visitors since it reopened on September 1 following lockdown due to Covid restrictions.

Meanwhile, a “steady increase” to Larne’s visitor information point at the Book Nook shop at Main Street has been reported to the council with 2,636 between April and June recorded by a “door counter”.

Larne’s former tourist information centre, which was owned by the local authority and was on the market for £100,000, has been sold.

A planning application for the vacant building has been lodged for change of use to a non-food retail outlet.

The former tourist information centre, at Circular Road, which was said to have been “under-used and too costly”, closed in 2018.

Meanwhile, Larne Museum and Arts Centre and McNeill Theatre remain closed due to Covid restrictions.

The council report says that social distancing at McNeill Theatre at Larne Leisure Centre reduces capacity from 274 to a maximum of 62.

No events are currently scheduled in either venue in accordance with government guidelines.

Plans are progressing to deliver a Halloween event at Carnfunnock online due to restrictions over social gatherings.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter.

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