National award for Gobbins cliff path

The Gobbins.
The Gobbins.

One of Northern Ireland’s newest tourist attractions has won a prestigious national award for infrastructure.

The Gobbins cliff path in Islandmagee has scooped the AECOM Excellence Award.

It fought off stiff competition from projects involving Irish Water and Transport for London.

The attraction won the accolade for project delivery, recognising the innovative techniques and collaborative working applied by the project team to successfully re-open the coastal path ahead of schedule following its temporary closure after severe storms in 2016.

The outdoor coastal adventure experience has pulled in thousands of visitors from across the globe including Australia, New Zealand, America, China and India since opening.

Paul McAleese, project director, AECOM, said: “The Gobbins cliff path is a spectacular project location, but it also presented a number of engineering challenges for our team.

“Working closely with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the project’s contractor, we were able to introduce a number of innovations that enabled us to speed up delivery of this complex project and reopen the attraction before peak tourist season.

“We’re delighted the project has been recognised with an excellence award, which is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved.”

Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy said: “This award is testament to the hard work and commitment of the teams of people involved to bring this project to fruition. The area continues to reap the benefits it brings in terms of footfall, economic traffic and investments.

“The ongoing success of The Gobbins and Mid and East Antrim’s other key tourism sites has had an invaluable knock-on effect for the local economy, boosting investment and creating jobs. This prestigious award reinforces the decision to invest in this attraction’s future, with council committing a portion of the £80million investment from City Deal to bolster its position as one of Northern Ireland’s top tourism attractions.”