A total of more than £30,000 of funding has been approved by Ballymena Council for two separate bodies representing the Causeway Coast & Glens area.
Last Monday night, a Council committee agreed £11,000 for the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust and also £25,000 for the Causeway Coast & Glens Regional Tourism Partnership.
Details of the requests for 2014-15 financial support were reported by Council officer Sean Trainor who pointed out that the aims of the Heritage Trust are relevant to Council’s Corporate Plan 2012-2016 (theme two) which required outcomes of improved natural and built heritage and increase environmental sustainability and attractiveness and that the £11,000 had been budgeted for.
He reminded councillors that, last year, Council gave an ‘intent to support’ the Trust subject to continued improvement in 2014-15 and said that “the marked improvement noted in the previous year has continued”.
Funding had been secured for a project at Ecos Estate to control overgrown willow coppice, redevelop natural environment, enhance outdoor recreation opportunities, and hold events including tree planting involving local schoolchildren, talks and presentations throughout the borough including Broughshane, Ecos and Gracehill.
Regarding Causeway Coast & Glens Regional Tourism Partnership of Cluster Councils, it was pointed out that Council had agreed to fund it by £25,000 in February last year and, subject to satisfactory performance in 2013-14 to provide similar funds the following year.
Councillors also heard that the Cluster area is recognised by the NI Tourist Board as one of the nine ‘destination areas’ and, as such, has allocated funding for substantial Tourism Development Schemes within the Ballymena Borough including Newferry at Portglenone.