Additional free berth nights after Mid and East Antrim marinas fee increase
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Boat owners at Carrickfergus and Glenarm Marinas will be offered additional free nights after fees rose by 10 per cent in April.
Following this increase, the Berth-Holders’ Association met with marina management as they felt they should be “offered additional benefits similar to other marinas”, a report to councillors said.
Currently, one free night per month is offered to marina residents visiting between Glenarm and Carrickfergus. Councillors have agreed an increase to three free nights during peak season and five off-peak for resident berth-holders.
In February, elected members were told harbours and marinas income had increased by almost one fifth. By the end of December 2022, fees brought in more than £0.5m for the council, a rise of 18.4 per cent that financial year.
During the financial year 2020/21, Mid and East Antrim’s marinas and harbours realised an income of £610,000 despite restrictions due to the Covid pandemic. The previous year, this income was £596,743.
At the council’s Environment and Economy Committee, Carrickfergus Castle DUP Alderman Billy Ashe MBE spoke of a need to “try to repair the damage to berth-holders who have seen significant berth increases”.
An officer told the committee: “It is something the council is offering as additional support to berth-holders.” He reported income has been boosted at Glenarm Marina by between £6,000 and £10,000.
Carrickfergus Castle Ulster Unionist Cllr Robin Stewart seconded the proposal.
Party colleague Larne Lough Cllr Roy Beggs commented: “If we do not do this, they will take their trips somewhere else.”
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter