Ballyronan Marina to benefit from Council Investment Plan
Visitors to Ballyronan Marina in spring of 2021 will notice changes to the Blue Flag Awarded facility, as Mid Ulster District Council begins work this month on additions to the site that include the development of an innovative tourism project in a first for the region.
Four luxury on-water glamping pods will be developed and a viewing platform constructed on the breakwater to provide new views of Lough Neagh. The pods will be the only one of their kind here, offering a unique accommodation experience that will be incomparable to any currently available. The pods will be complimented by augmented reality interpretation panels that will bring the mythology of Lough Neagh to life.
Council Chair, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan, welcomed the start of the works, saying,
“Our investment in this project, combined with Rural Development Funding gratefully received from DAERA is making a critical contribution to sustaining the sector and aiding its recovery. At the same time we are acutely aware that our tourism and hospitality industry is also reeling from the effects of the pandemic and so it is equally vital that we continue our drive to develop innovative tourism product such as the new glamping pods and viewing platform which will help attract domestic, and eventually, out of state visitors."
“At the same time, we are ensuring that the visitor experience is enhanced for our local population and improvements include development of the existing play area to include an all-inclusive play, upgrades to the existing trails, and the addition of a Changing Places facility, which will make this an integrated, engaging and accessible place for local families to visit.”
Representing an investment of £690K by the Council, and part-funded under the Rural Tourism Scheme of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020, and Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, and the European Union, the works will also enhance the visitor attraction amenities and improve facilities available.
Improvements to the buildings on site will mean the Marina will be the third outdoor recreation facility in Mid Ulster to have a Changing Places facility, joining Knockmany Forest and OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory. The popular children’s play park on site will also be developed to include an all-inclusive play element, helping to provide a sensory rich, positive and engaging experience for all children.
Recognising the importance of outdoor provision for walking on health and well-being, existing walking trails will be upgraded with enhanced landscaping and signage.
Council Chair, Cllr. Cathal Mallaghan pictured with Contractor, Eddie Quinn, E Quinn Civils Ltd as the ground breaking for the new £690K capital improvements gets underway at Ballyronan Marina.