Sale of lands a “major boost” to Glenarm regeneration plans, says Mayor

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, has welcomed Council approval for the sale of three plots of land in Glenarm as part of wider plans to regenerate and revitalise the village.

At a meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, formal approval was granted for the sale of the Council-owned former Quarry, former Fish Factory and former Eglinton Yard sites in the village. Elected members agreed that the sale be awarded to the successful bidder.

Councillor Johnston said: “The village of Glenarm has always been a celebrated jewel in the crown of Mid and East Antrim’s outstanding tourism offering on the Causeway Coastal Route but, like any tourist destination, it requires ongoing investment and regeneration.

“The sale of these Council-owned lands will serve as a tremendous catalyst in breathing new life into the area - boosting the local economy, increasing tourism and creating jobs in Glenarm.

“The successful bidder has exciting and inspiring plans for the three plots, including the development of a 4* hotel and a Cultural, Heritage and Community Hub on the former Quarry site. This will be complemented by the development of an Irish Whiskey Distillery, supported by a state-of-the-art visitor experience, at the former Fish Factory and Eglinton Yard sites.”

The move comes on the back of an in-depth open public consultation process during which the Council invited public feedback on a series of high-level proposals for the three sites. The subsequent launch of a Development Brief for each of the sites in November 2019 resulted in submissions from a number of interested parties, which were evaluated by a panel in May 2020.

The process was driven by the Glenarm Steering Group, made up of Council officials and elected members, including: Alderman Robin Cherry MBE; Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna; Alderman Tommy Nicholl MBE; together with Councillors Andrew Clarke; James McKeown; Maureen Morrow and Angela Smyth.

The decision to progress with the sale of the land was agreed at this week’s meeting of full council, with the move proposed by Councillor Gregg McKeen and seconded by Alderman Maureen Morrow.

Commending the Group for their efforts, the Mayor continued: “The Glenarm Steering Group has been instrumental in working collaboratively – even throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – to bring this process to a most successful close. That their combined efforts will result in three underutilised assets being brought back into use, impacting so favourably on the regeneration of Glenarm, is testament to their vision and their commitment to the economic growth in Mid and East Antrim.”

The Council’s decision has come as welcome news to residents and businesses in the Glenarm area.

Adrian Morrow of Glenarm Castle, said: “This is fantastic news not only for Glenarm Castle, but for all hospitality and tourism businesses in the village and the surrounding area.

“We are grateful to Mid and East Antrim for their vision and leadership in bringing this process to a close and very much look forward to seeing the successful bidder’s plans unfold in the coming months and years.”