14/06/2024

Funding Contract Signed For Phase II Of The Gobbins

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has announced that the signing of the Contract for Funding for Phase II of the Gobbins is a 'major step forward' in realising the ambitious vision for the future of attraction.

Representatives from the Department for the Economy and Tourism NI, along with Mid and East Antrim Mayor Alderman Beth Adger MBE, Elected Members, Interim Chief Executive Valerie Watts of the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and other stakeholders, gathered to acknowledge the Contract for Funding (CfF). This contract will officially unlock a £13.6 million investment in The Gobbins Phase II.

The Gobbins Phase II is one of three initiatives that Mid and East Antrim will benefit from the Belfast Region City Deal - seeing an investment in excess of £80 million in the Borough.

The Gobbins Phase II will introduce a variety of improvements to one of Northern Ireland's most popular visitor attractions. The ambitious plans feature a stunning ingress structure over 60 meters high, a virtual reality experience, upgrades to the clifftop path, the development of a new Welcome Hub and improved visitor amenities.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Beth Adger MBE, said the investment will firmly cement The Gobbins' as a 'unique offering' in Northern Ireland. She said: "This is a major step forward in progressing phase II of the project. Visitors to The Gobbins are always blown away by its magnificent beauty, and this major investment will only further enhance the already established attraction as a one-of-a-kind, ‘must see’ tourism asset on the stunning Causeway Coastal Route.
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"The Gobbins Phase II will enable us to further deliver a world-class, authentic attraction that will help boost our area's domestic and international visitor numbers. We anticipate that it will attract up to 225,000 visitors from outside Northern Ireland alone each year when completed. Increased overnight stays and out of state visitors will help boost the local economy and help grow the overall visitor experience across the Borough.

"I commend the hard work of all those involved in progressing this vital work which will be crucial to unlocking the economic and tourism potential of our Borough."

Economy Minister, Conor Murphy, noted the significant progress made in reaching this key stage in the project plan. He said: "I am committed to accelerating the delivery of the City and Growth Deal programme so it is great to see this ambitious and exciting tourism project move closer to fruition. It is evident that the project will directly contribute to my economic vision for the North, particularly creating good jobs for people in Mid and East Antrim and achieving regional balance.

"My officials and Tourism NI will continue to build on the strong working relationship with Council to ensure that the Gobbins Phase II project delivers for the local economy."

The new Welcome Hub will include much-needed amenity facilities for visitors and will provide the starting point for the attraction. A new virtual reality offering will be made available at the existing Visitor Centre, enabling all visitors to share in the wonder of the attraction. This all-weather facility will service a new target audience and cater for those unable to undertake the tour.

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