Carrickfergus Castle visitor figures impacted by Covid restrictions
A total of 99 visitors toured Carrickfergus Castle during the first two weeks of October, a report to Mid and East Antrim’s Borough Growth Committee has stated.
The medieval landmark re-opened to sightseers on October 1 after lockdown and closed again on October 19 for another four weeks as a result of further restrictions due to Covid.
Groups were restricted to 10 people per tour to allow for social distancing.
The report also indicated that refurbishment works at the castle’s visitor information centre are now completed. It was refurbished to include a purpose-built reception desk and improved refreshment, retail and seating areas.
Meanwhile, the Andrew Jackson Centre at Boneybefore, Carrickfergus, remains closed due to Covid restrictions.
Museum staff in Carrickfergus worked with Carrickfergus and District Historical Society to facilitate a book launch by author Sean MacIntyre. The book is entitled ‘Forgotten Service: The Story of the Greenisland and Carrickfergus Home Guard’. Read here
Funding of £28,079 has been awarded for a lighting upgrade at Carrickfergus Museum. It will be provided by the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Programme.
Larne Museum and Arts Centre has received £7,000 for improvements to an accessible entrance.
According to Tourism Northern Ireland’s visitor attitude survey published earlier this year, Carrickfergus Castle is Mid and East Antrim’s second most popular tourist attraction after The Gobbins in Islandmagee. The castle welcomed 48,872 sightseers between April 2019 and January 2020 despite renovations to the roof of the Great Tower which were completed at a cost of £1m. There were 456 visitors to the medieval fortress in January.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
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