One of Northern Ireland’s leading tourist attractions Glenarm Castle, located in the village of Glenarm Co. Antrim, has announced a £500k investment, including support from Tourism NI’s experience development programme. This investment will significantly enhance their current visitor portfolio, create up to 20 full and part time jobs and provide a safe destination for everyone to enjoy this summer, subject to government guidelines.
Already well-known for its historic Castle, Walled Garden, Tea Room, Tulip Festival and Dalriada Festival, this investment has enabled Glenarm Castle to develop a range of brand new visitor experiences including: a Heritage Centre, Museum, Woodland Walk, Ireland’s first Mini Land Rover Experience, E-Bike Hire, a Castle Shop and The Milk Parlour featuring ice cream using milk from N.Ireland’s only remaining Shorthorn dairy herd. The Walled Garden will reopen safely to the public, in accordance with government guidelines and subject to lifting of restrictions, on 28th April along with some of these new experiences.
In addition, and due to demand, 3 new stylish holiday pods with sea views will be added to the existing 6 pods. A new immersive visitor experience with audio guides will enhance tours and a new progressive web app is currently in development.
Like many in the tourism sector, the impact of the pandemic has had a detrimental effect on Glenarm Castle. During the first lockdown, they pivoted to focus on food provision along the Antrim Coast and Glens as well as providing a weekly click and collect food box service. The lockdowns also presented an opportunity for a re-evaluation of their visitor offering which resulted in the current product development funding support from Tourism NI.
Announcing the new and enhanced visitor experiences Lady Dunluce, resident of Glenarm Castle, said:
“ It has been an incredibly difficult and challenging year for all of us in the tourism sector. While we adapted to the challenges presented by the pandemic, it did provide us with the opportunity to review our current visitor offering. Our own investment, alongside support from Tourism NI has helped us to create new jobs and develop a range of wonderful new visitor experiences. We are very much looking forward to reopening as well as providing a safe and fun experience for everyone, especially families, to enjoy this summer.”
Tourism Northern Ireland Chief Executive John McGrillen, commented: “I welcome the very positive news of the new visitor experiences and employment at Glenarm Castle and look forward to working with the team to safely reopen and welcome back visitors. Despite the ongoing challenges we are hopeful of a gradual reopening of the tourism and hospitality sector in the near future and remain committed to working with the industry across Northern Ireland to support on recovery plans.”