Major Tourism Site Proposed For Northern Ireland
Published on Apr 5 2013 4:26 PM in General Industry
Initial funding has been secured for an ambitious archaeological project to uncover a lost seventeenth-century town in Northern Ireland, which could boost tourism figures in the area, as reported by the Belfast Telegraph.The site beside Dunluce Castle, on the scenic Causeway Coast, has been hailed as potentially the region’s own “little Pompeii”.The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has now provided more than £300,000 for an excavation project and signalled the potential for a total package of £4 million. The ruins of the castle have stood on the rocky coastal outcrop near Bushmills in northern Antrim for centuries, but it was only four years ago that archaeologists rediscovered a lost settlement beside the landmark.
In 2009, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), in conjunction with experts from both the University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast carried out initial excavations on the land believed to hold the remains of the lost town. Stormont’s Environment Minister Alex Attwood welcomed the funding boost:“I very much welcome that the HLF has chosen to support this opportunity to explore the hidden heritage at Dunluce and to develop new visitor facilities here, which will do justice to this incredible site. I see much potential unearthing our historic past to boost tourism today.”