Coast’s hidden gems to be revealed in dramatic style

Colin Neill, Hospitality Ulster, with Kelli Baghus (left), Carrickfergus Enterprise and Jayne Clarke, Museum & Heritage manager Mid and East Antrim Museum & Heritage Service.
Colin Neill, Hospitality Ulster, with Kelli Baghus (left), Carrickfergus Enterprise and Jayne Clarke, Museum & Heritage manager Mid and East Antrim Museum & Heritage Service.

Businesses have been given detailed information on Mid and East Antrim Council’s new cultural tourism initiative.

‘Shaped by Industry-Shared with Pride’ will deliver 40 bespoke interactive performances by Big Telly Theatre Company, based on the area’s rich industrial history.

These innovative performances bring new audiences to hidden stories associated with four sites; the villages of Carnlough and Glenarm and the visitor attractions of Whitehead Railway Museum and Flame! Gasworks Museum, Carrickfergus.

The project aims to engage tourism businesses operating along the Causeway Coastal Route to boost their offering. Performances will be delivered across the venues in May and June next year.

The Mayor, Cllr Lindsay Millar, said: “I am thrilled about the exciting possibilities ‘Shaped by Industry-Shared with Pride’ offers. It’s a real glimpse into our intriguing industrial past to showcase that to both our local and international tourists.

“Engagement with local tourism businesses through initiatives such as this are crucial to unlock the potential of our industrial heritage sites as visitor attractions along the Causeway Coastal Route within Mid and East Antrim.

Details were shared during an event in Carnlough at which Colin Neill, Hospitality Ulster, chatted to business representatives about emerging trends and challenges facing the province.

‘Coffee with Colin’ at the Londonderry Arms Hotel was organised by council and Carrickfergus Enterprise. It was part of a series of events in pubs, hotels and restaurants to give members of the hospitality industry an opportunity to air opinions.

Mr Neill said: “Communication with the industry is central to what we do every day. Our membership informs everything from our political policy to the range of benefits we provide.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to meet face to face with business owners to listen to issues and opinions first hand.”