Cairncastle groupadd weight to east-west Ulster Scots culture push

THE Cairncastle Ulster Scots Folk Festival committee is encouraging Larne Borough Council to look at ways to strengthen links with the west coast of Scotland.

Spokesman for the group, Bobby Acheson, said they were encouraged by comments made by Larne Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mark McKinty, following the recent successful Broadisland Gathering, which celebrated its 20th anniversary year at the start of September.

Like Broadisland, the Cairncastle Ulster Scots Folk Festival attracts hundreds of people each year, with a good number of visitors coming from outside the borough.

“Our committee has been working on links like this for the last six years and we see great potential for tourism, business and agriculture,” said Mr Acheson.

“We have built up links with groups from Dunoon, Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Troon, Ayr and a number of small rural villages in the west coast of Scotland.”

He suggested that Larne Council needs to look at this potential for the borough and also the Port of Larne in bringing visitors to the area.

“We feel the east Antrim coast has been totally neglected from this perspective and as our group is involved in Ulster Scots music and culture, we feel there is real potential to create jobs for the local economy.

“We would also like to see our local MLAs taking this on board.

“We would be willing to help in any way possible to help promote the Borough of Larne in the west coast of Scotland,” said Mr Acheson.

“The Broadisland Gathering and Cairncastle Ulster Scots Folk Festival are probably two of the largest festivals in the Borough, with potential for major growth,” said Mr Acheson.