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Ballintoy villagers go back to old school to boost tourism

Published 28/02/2013

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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