Belfast Telegraph

Carrickfergus tourism initiative boosts sales, attracts thousands of visitors and creates 58 jobs

Success: Kelli Bagchus
Success: Kelli Bagchus

By Staff Reporter

Carrickfergus Enterprise has created almost 60 new jobs and generated more than £3m in extra spending through a tourism initiative.

It said the project, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, had also boosted sales, visitor spending and visitor numbers on the East Antrim Coastal Way.

According to Carrickfergus Enterprise, the Glens Coastal Hub surpassed its targets by drawing more than 22,000 new visitors to the region and helping to create 58 jobs, including casual posts.

It also generated more than £3m in additional expenditure and 30 businesses signed up and took part in support services, such as business mentoring and ICT support.

Kelli Bagchus, manager of Carrickfergus Enterprise, said: "The success of our East Antrim Coastal Hub and tourism map set the precedent for what could be achieved in the tourism sector within the area.

"It was therefore the right time to request further funding to create a larger spectrum of support.

"With the local interest high and the strong proposition already existing, it made sense for us to build on this momentum."

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Gary O'Loughlin, who runs Laragh Lodge restaurant in Glenariff, said the programme was successful in putting a spotlight on the venue "and has definitely brought us more business".

"We attended various workshops, including social media training, which was very helpful," he added.

Belfast Telegraph