Council spends over £82000 on Gobbins repairs and maintenance

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland
4th August 2015
General views of the Gobbins in Islandmagee which is due to open on the 19th of August.
Picture by Stephen Hamilton / Press
Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 4th August 2015 General views of the Gobbins in Islandmagee which is due to open on the 19th of August. Picture by Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has spent over £82,000 on repairs and maintenance to The Gobbins since last August, it has been revealed.

According to a freedom of information request obtained by the Press Association from the council, the local authority has spent £82,502.28 to date on repairing the £7.5 million tourist attraction

The council said that the expenditure was essential as part of its rockfall management responsibilities.

It stated: “As a unique coastal visitor experience exposed to the elements, The Gobbins will require ongoing routine maintenance involving scaling of the cliff face to mitigate the effects of coastal erosion on the path. Coastal areas are prone to natural vulnerability and council constantly monitor the safety aspects of the walk.”

The Gobbins first opened in August 2015 but closed that December due to storm damage. It reopened on May Day 2016, but closed again on June 20 for essential maintenance to prevent rock falls.

Last month it was revealed that the attraction will not reopen until sometime in 2017.

MLA Oliver McMullan said it was “damning” that an FOI request was needed for council to reveal the amount spent.

“This is only the cost for maintenance and repair, it doesn’t factor in loss of earnings and cost to reopen,” he stated.

“The real figure could be massive.

“There needs to be an end to council going into committee to discuss this, it should be out in the open.”