Meeting on blueprint future for Ardglass

Meeting on blueprint future for Ardglass

7 August 2019

A PUBLIC meeting which may help shape a blueprint for the economic future of Ardglass was held last week.

Members of the Ardglass Development Association and other local groups and organisations attended the meeting in the Gerry O’Shea Centre, which could well unleash the village’s economic potential. 

Debate focused mainly on what Ardglass had to offer its thousands of international tourists, as well as job creation and boosting the local economy. 

The two-hour long meeting was addressed by consultants from Blue Zebra, a strategic planning agency.

One of the consultants told the meeting that it was fundamentally important for Ardglass to “have one voice,” which would ensure more successful grant applications. 

Local councillor Dermot Curran attended the meeting and said he was very encouraged by the ideas that were shared. 

He said: “We discussed the many attributes Ardglass had to offer. We were pleased at the steady stream of international tourists coming to visit.

“Many were in an agreement that we needed to capitalise more on our visitors including the busloads that come from the United States Europe, and Japan who come to play got and that we could help to extend their stay and ensure it is an enjoyable trip. 

“At the moment many wives who come up with their golfing husbands go shopping in Belfast but we could do more to keep them here. 

Cllr Curran said there was a need for more tourist accommodation in the village. At present there are ten bed and breakfast establishments and a small hotel.

He also said St Patrick’s Trail could be further developed to encourage more walkers to come to the area. 

“We need to encourage more people to get involved in offering accommodation and we need to look at creating more jobs in the area especially within the catering and fishing industries,” he continued.

A report containing proposals discussed at the meeting will be drawn up by Blue Zebra and presented at the next public meeting in the village at the end of this month.