£160k slipway widening work to start at Carrickfergus Sailing Club

Carrickfergus Sailing Club slipway.
Carrickfergus Sailing Club slipway.

Work is to commence next month on long-awaited improvements to the slipway at Carrickfergus Sailing Club (CSC).

The widening project, which is supported by Mid and East Antrim Council, will enable a number of significant sailing events to take place this year in the Co Antrim town.

It will also create the opportunity for more open regional and national championships to be attracted in future years.

Confirmed for 2020 are the J24 Championships, the President’s Cup and Hansa Irish Championships and the RS 400 Northern Championships.

Councillors were told at their January meeting the local authority would fund 50% of the work.

The club has progressed the procurement of a contractor and the price to undertake the work is within the upper approved limit of £160,000.

A CSC spokesperson said they were “delighted” to finally be in a position to improve the slipway which was constructed over 30 years ago as part of the marina development.

“It had proven to be a challenge for club members to use due to its position and restricted width which was unsuitable to attract major sailing events to Carrickfergus and the development of the club’s youth dinghy programme.

“The club has worked closely with both councillors and officers over the past four years to deliver this project and are extremely thankful for their invaluable assistance and financial support to ensure this project finally became a reality.”

Starting on February 3, the work is expected to be completed by early May.

Alderman Billy Ashe MBE said: “I want to congratulate the sailing club and the council because it has taken a long time to work in true partnership with the club.

“Not only are we getting an enhanced facility but we are getting it well within the initial projected costs. I look forward to the final results and the evaluation of the impact on the town.”