Ballycastle Town Partnership
Who are we?
The Ballycastle Town Partnership is an independent Public/Private/Voluntary sector partnership made up of individuals from the voluntary sector, residents, individuals who have business interests within the town and representatives from Moyle District Council.
What is the Partnership trying to do?
The aim of the Partnership is to ‘Promote the social, economic and environmental development of Ballycastle’ and create a vision for the future.
How will we do that?
The partnership has secured funding from the Department of Social Development to carry out an extensive and inclusive discussion with you, the stakeholders of Ballycastle, to establish just what you think about the town and its future.
Why do we need a Town Development plan?
A Town Development plan sets out the vision that will guide the development of Ballycastle for the next ten years.
- It will outline a vision and individual recommendations for the development of the town
- It will identify a number of the main issues affecting the future development of the town
- It will help attract additional investment into the town
- It will safeguard what’s good about the town and help realise opportunities
As a result of a recommendation published in the Causeway Coast and Glens Tourism Masterplan, Moyle District Council and DSD have worked together to provide an overall agreed approach, to the development of Ballycastle as a key tourism destination and to provide a framework to guide investment from both the public and private sectors.
In 2006 the Ballycastle Town Partnership was established with a remit to examine the social, economic and environmental development of Ballycastle, and to produce a ten year strategy based on their findings.
Once a socio economic analysis of Ballycastle was carried out and examined, the next task was to record all the information that was collected from the community and other stakeholders of Ballycastle and put it into a cohesive plan. Margaret Craig, former Ballycastle Town Project Officer said “ during the process the information supplied was absorbed and used to create a vision and a way forward in the form of a framework document that says to investors (public & private) that - Ballycastle is special, it has a lot to offer and it knows where it wants to go… we have a plan ”.
The Minister during her visit highlighted the unique nature of Ballycastle as a gateway to some of Northern Ireland’s finest natural heritage and was delighted that this was captured in the strategy. Commenting on a partnership approach to revitalise the town, Margaret Ritchie said; “It is important that the Town Partnership now works with all the stakeholders to prioritise the initiatives identified in this Masterplan. I will ensure that my Department supports the Partnership to achieve these aims. I look forward to visiting a more vibrant and prosperous town in the future.”
There are thirty three recommendations in the plan that included:
- Improvements to the town’s gateways to natural heritage sites
- Regeneration at Fairhill, Clare and the Market Street areas
- The development of a watersport centre at the seafront and leisure and tourism facility at the Quay Road playing fields
- Improvements to the Diamond area that includes traffic management
- The opportunity to maximise the benefit to the town by upgrading existing walkways, linking the town to the forest and creating heritage trails
- The opportunity to maximise the benefit to the town of the ferry service to Rathlin and any future service to Scotland.