March completion for £30k Ulster-Scots signs at The Gobbins

Sixty-eight Ulster-Scots signs are to be installed at one of Mid and East Antrim’s main tourist attractions.

The signage panels funded by the Ulster-Scots Agency to the tune of £30,000 are to be installed at the upper path at The Gobbins in Islandmagee with 30 for the wooden fencing along the path and 38 on the handrails along the path.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of March and will signpost sightseers to heritage sites in the borough.

The display will incorporate the history, heritage, flora and fauna and views at the clifftop location and highlight other places of interest “by educating the visitor on the history and geography of the area”.

The Gobbins

Ian Crozier, chief executive, of the Ulster-Scots Agency, said previously: “The Gobbins, which attracts many thousands of visitors each year, presents us with an excellent opportunity to highlight the rich Ulster-Scots heritage of Islandmagee and the wider East Antrim area to a local, national and international audience.

“Our investment will see a wide variety of Ulster-Scots stories told along The Gobbins cliff top path which is free and offers a very different walking experience from the paid attraction down at sea level, including breath-taking views of Scotland.

“We believe that this will become an increasingly important part of the offering at The Gobbins as the attraction grows in popularity.”

The borough council anticipates that the signage will encourage sightseers to stay longer in Mid and East Antrim by directing visitors to historical attractions including Carrickfergus Castle and St Nicholas’ Church in Carrickfergus, Olderfleet Castle and the Friends Goodwill monument at Curran Park in Larne.

Meanwhile, Tourism Ireland has identified ancestry as a key focus for the market in the United States and Canada.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Borough Growth Committee was told in a recent council officer’s report that “Ulster American heritage has the ability to provide stand-out for Mid and East Antrim and it was a key recommendation within the current Mid and East Antrim Tourism Strategy 2017-2021 that a market-led approach is taken to develop the Ulster-Scots product within the borough.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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