£124k of extra funding boosts safety for fans and riders
In October 2016, Northern Ireland Communities Minister Paul Givan announced that the Vauxhall International North West 200 would receive £124,000 from the Northern Ireland Assembly through Sport NI to fund safety improvements at the event.
On the eve of the 2017 races, the former Minister and Ian Paisley, North Antrim MP, have visited the circuit to see how the money has been spent.
Over 200 new Recticel bales have been purchased at an approximate cost of £500 each.
In addition, 135 kerb protectors have been added to the event's stock and some 1.25 miles of new fencing has been erected.
Twelve sets of amber safety lights, used to give the riders an early warning of any incidents during practice or racing, have also been deployed around the 8.9-mile Triangle circuit ahead of this week's action.
"The extra funding we have received has allowed us to make significant safety improvements for both riders and spectators," Event Director Mervyn Whyte said.
"As race organisers, our top priority is to try to make the racing as safe as possible.
"The new equipment we have purchased is another huge step in that process and we are very grateful for the support we have received."
After the visit, former Communities Minister Givan said: "We have seen the new equipment and it is another step forward for the event in terms of safety.
"We want to try to make this great event safer for everyone involved and even more spectacular than it already is."
Paisley, the MP for North Antrim, added: "Safety is critical in road racing and these measures enhance the safety precautions that have already been made by Event Director Mervyn Whyte and his team at the North West 200.
"The brand new bales and kerb protectors will give all the riders the best possible protection and the lights will provide them with early warning in a sport where the margins are so fine."