Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has marked the completion of significant development work at two spectacular coastal locations outside Ballintoy and Portrush.
The projects at Portaneevey and Magheracross include the installation of panoramic viewing points to allow the public to enjoy enhanced engagement with the landscape.
On Wednesday 28th July 2021, Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots visited the borough to herald their official opening.
The Portaneevey development is part of a series of significant tourism projects invested in by Council with support and funding from DAERA’s Rural Development Programme. The project at Magheracross is also funded by the Rural Development Programme under the Rural Tourism Scheme along with further part funding from the Landfill Communities Fund.
The Mayor for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Richard Holmes, said, “I was delighted to have this opportunity to welcome the Minister to this beautiful part of the Borough for the official launch of our redeveloped viewing points. Collectively, the projects represent a significant addition to the tourism infrastructure along the renowned Causeway Coastal Route.
“The views from both locations are simply breath-taking and the new world-class infrastructure offers visitors a closer appreciation of nature’s wonders along our coastline. We want to encourage sustainable tourism growth within our local economy and through this collaboration we have ensured a high level of quality in the provision of our public spaces.”
Minister Poots said “Tourism is vitally important to our rural economy and I’m delighted to be here today to open this “must see” development at Magheracross. This site and the development at Portaneevy will provide tourists with more opportunities to enjoy the breathtaking views along our stunning North Coast. Through the Rural Development Programme’s Rural Tourism Scheme and Leader Co-operation Scheme, my department has invested in natural and built heritage. It is clear from my visit here today, that the creation of visitor experiences showcasing our natural landscape, that are compelling and accessible to all, can offer long term sustainability and growth to tourism in Northern Ireland.”
Portaneevey is an important trailhead location within the destination for walkers along the Causeway Coast Way and International Appalachian Trail. The visitor experience has been transformed through the creation of viewing platforms, improved vehicle access and parking, along with landscaping and provision of enhanced signage, interpretation panels and furniture which showcase the area’s unrivalled natural assets.
At Magheracross, located on Dunluce Road, the major infrastructure project has developed the scenic viewpoint into a strategic stopping place and trailhead, on the edge of the resort town of Portrush overlooking the coastal headland, Whiterocks and the majestic ruins of Dunluce Castle.
Later this year, other DAERA funded projects will be launched in the area including the Lower Bann rivers project, improvements to the International Appalachian Trail and ‘Picture This’ a rural tourism trail.