The Crannagh Activity Centre, Coleraine, in conjunction with The Edge Watersports, has announced a £25k investment that has increased the existing waterpark by 40% to over 2,500 square meters. The expansion plan has also created 12 new jobs at the £2m Crannagh Marina Complex, located on the banks of the Lower Bann between Coleraine and Portstewart.
Rob Skelly*, owner of The Edge Watersports at Crannagh Activity Centre, and a British Water Ski and Wakeboard senior instructor, discusses the development:
“As one of Northern Ireland’s largest waterparks, we offer a wide range of activities from waterskiing, wakeboarding and banana boating to tube rides, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding.
“When we moved our business to The Crannagh three years ago we employed seven staff, two full-time and five part-time. Due to the recent £25k expansion our staff numbers have now increased from 20 to 32, with 25 of these jobs being full-time and seven part-time.
The Edge Watersports is one of the longest established activity providers on the north coast with 20 years experience in providing fun filled activities for all age groups. Originally established at Drumaheglis Marina, Ballymoney in 1996 it moved to The Crannagh Marina in Coleraine 2015.
Since then the Crannagh Activity Centre’s popularity has steadily increased. There were over 16,000 visitors in 2016,18,000 in 2017, and anticipated numbers for 2018 are in excess of 20,000, making it the most popular watersports destination on the island of Ireland.
Mr Skelly continues: “This year we have added even more obstacles and slides to the waterpark and reconfigured the existing layout, increasing the size by 40% to 2,500 square metres. We now have a potential capacity increase from 80 to 120 visitors. However, we consistently strive to create the ultimate quality customer experience and therefore restrict our numbers to 60 at any one time.
“Our lifeguards are stationed on the park and actively engage with customers to ensure they enjoy the best experience possible. We have been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for the past two years and were recently awarded “Tourism Attraction of the Year” for the Causeway Coast and Glens area in the local business awards.”
Seamus Carey, owner of Crannagh Marina Complex, welcomes the expansion:
“We have invested over £2million in recent years at Crannagh Marina Complex, which is located on the banks of the Lower Bann, between Coleraine and Portstewart.
“It is an exciting time. We are recording record numbers of visitors and are thrilled to see this further expansion by the Activity Centre.
“The Lower Bann has been extremely underused as a recreation and tourism resource and we aim, with the help of various partners, to change this and make it a prime destination where people can come and spend a number of days packed full of fun activities.”
Mr Carey adds, “We have ambitious plans for the complex. In the next 6 to 12 months we will be constructing on-site accommodation. Phase 1 will provide over 30 bedrooms, with luxury cabins and luxury camping pods offering magnificent views over the River Bann.
“The Crannagh Marina, which currently offers over 200m of pontoons and has a large number of deep water moorings, also plans to increase its size to allow even more boats and larger boats to berth.
“The entire Crannagh Marina Complex is becoming a major hub for tourists and locals alike. There is something for everyone, no matter what your age.”
The Crannagh restaurant and wedding venue is also located within the complex.