Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Ballintoy villagers go back to old school to boost tourism

Tourists in the north coast village of Ballintoy will be able to do more than "go to the pub" on a wet day if plans for a visitor attraction come to pass, a councillor said.

Ulster Unionist representative Joan Baird was speaking at a meeting of Moyle Council in Ballycastle where a seeding grant of £225 was agreed for the Ballintoy Old School Restoration Committee.

The aim of the group is to restore the village's old school building as a place for tourists to visit.

There will be a focus on history and traditions.

Councillor Baird said: "This is a great project.

"The village of Ballintoy lacks a focal point for visitors. This will give people on a wet day something to do.

"People often say there is nothing to do on a wet day, except perhaps go to the pub."

A report compiled by the council stated the aims of the Ballintoy Old School Restoration Committee are:

• To advance education by recording, documenting and promoting public awareness of the history, folklore, architectural and cultural heritage of the Ballintoy area.

• To restore Ballintoy old school – which is a listed building – to its former architectural beauty through extensive restoration work.

• To promote traditional Scottish music, song, dance and literature in all its forms, advance education about the Ulster-Scots language, traditions and culture.

• To educate the public by promoting awareness of Ulster-Scots traditions.

The report added: "When restored, the group hopes to open up the old school to tourists, to exhibit historical memorabilia and to let the teacher's residence."

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