£6m boost for Larne tourist attraction welcomed

Elected representatives have welcomed funding for a £6.1m upgrade at Carnfunnock Country Park outside Larne.

It has been selected as one of 10 projects in Northern Ireland to share in £71m through the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The key components will include construction of a new visitor centre which will house a retail shop, café, meeting rooms and bathroom facilities, overlooking the coastline.

It will also see an upgrade to existing amenity block to include a restaurant, café, shops, toilets, office, staff welfare, storage and circulation.

Carnfunnock Country Park.

Coast Road Ulster Unionist Councillor Maureen Morrow said: “This is a very welcome good news story and I congratulate the council officers who helped put this successful bid forward to the UK government Levelling Up award scheme.

“It has been recognised that Carnfunnock, which is the number one tourist and recreation asset on the east coast, has been in need for a revamp and investment in new facilities over recent years.

“With our leisure and tourism offering set to become more important for our economy as we recover from the Covid pandemic, this announcement could not have come at a better time.”

The project will also include additional accessible play equipment added to the existing adventure area. There are also plans for a pump track for use of older children and teenagers and further trails and pathways.

Engagement Events

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, said: “We are grateful to the many residents who helped us develop our plan through our engagement events and we are delighted that the council's plan and investment has been supported in this way.”

Cllr Morrow added: “There have been several reviews and masterplans for Carnfunnock over the years but what has been lacking was the capital to implement the plans. This UK government Levelling Up funding will allows real progress to be made.

“Added to the recent planning approval of the private development around Cairndhu House, this is a real boost for the whole Coast Road area.”

Council’s Planning Committee recently approved a planning application for a retirement village and nursing home at the former convalescent hospital

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