Co. Antrim's Glenarm Castle Announces New Visitor Attractions Following £500k Investment
Co. Antrim's Glenarm Castle has announced a number of new visitor attractions following a £500,000 investment, which included support from Tourism NI's experience development programme.
Already known for its historic castle, walled garden, tea room, tulip festival and Dalriada Festival, Glenarm Castle has now developed a range of brand new visitor attractions and experiences using the £500,000 investment, including a heritage centre, a museum, a woodland walk, Ireland's first mini Land Rover experience, e-bike hire, a castle shop and The Milk Parlour, which features ice cream made using milk from Northern Ireland's only remaining Shorthorn dairy herd.
In addition, three new holiday pods with sea views will be added to the property's existing six pods, a new immersive visitor experience with audio guides will enhance tours and a new progressive web app is currently in development.
The £500,000 investment will also allow for the creation of up to 20 full- and part-time jobs.
Like many businesses in the tourism sector, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on Glenarm Castle. During the first COVID-19-related lockdown, it pivoted to focus on food provision along the Antrim coast and glens as well as providing a weekly click and collect food box service. The lockdowns also presented an opportunity for a re-evaluation of the property's visitor offering, which resulted in the current product development funding support from Tourism NI.
Glenarm Castle's walled garden will reopen safely to the public, in accordance with government guidelines and subject to lifting of restrictions, on April 28 along with some of its new visitor experiences.
Glenarm Castle Resident Statement
Lady Dunluce, resident of Glenarm Castle, stated, "It has been an incredibly difficult and challenging year for all of us in the tourism sector. While we adapted to the challenges presented by the pandemic, it did provide us with the opportunity to review our current visitor offering. Our own investment, alongside support from Tourism NI has helped us to create new jobs and develop a range of wonderful new visitor experiences. We are very much looking forward to reopening as well as providing a safe and fun experience for everyone, especially families, to enjoy this summer."
Tourism NI Chief Executive Statement
Meanwhile, Tourism NI chief executive John McGrillen commented, "I welcome the very positive news of the new visitor experiences and employment at Glenarm Castle, and look forward to working with the team to safely reopen and welcome back visitors. Despite the ongoing challenges, we are hopeful of a gradual reopening of the tourism and hospitality sector in the near future and remain committed to working with the industry across Northern Ireland to support on recovery plans."
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