Funding secured for new ramp to improve access to popular Antrim Coast beach

Access to the popular Drains Bay beach near Larne is to be improved by spring of the new year.
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Mid and East Antrim Council has confirmed it will be installing an accessible ramp at the beach.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is delighted to have secured funding to improve beach access at Drains Bay. The funding has been secured through the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Fund and is one of several projects to be delivered in the coming months to improve access to parks and open spaces for our residents with additional requirements.

“Council will be commencing work on designs for the beach access ramp shortly and aim to have the project completed before the end of March 2024.”

East Antrim MLA Gordon Lyons and Councillor Angela Smyth at Drains Bay. Photo submitted by DUPEast Antrim MLA Gordon Lyons and Councillor Angela Smyth at Drains Bay. Photo submitted by DUP
East Antrim MLA Gordon Lyons and Councillor Angela Smyth at Drains Bay. Photo submitted by DUP

Welcoming the commitment, DUP Councillors Angela Smyth and Andrew Clarke, said: “The current steps onto the beach make access difficult for elderly residents and those with disabilities. We have been lobbying for this improvement and are pleased that this new beach ramp will be in place by the end of March 2024.”

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Meanwhile, the area’s bathing waters continued to perform well in 2023. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), which manages the bathing water programme, reported ‘Excellent Quality’ at Ballygally and Brown’s Bay and ‘Good Quality’ at Carnlough.

DAERA also undertook sampling at a number of ‘Candidate’ bathing waters, which had been recommended as bathing sites by the Bathing Water Review conducted by the department in 2022/2023, with both Drains Bay and Portmuck classified as ‘Good Quality’.