Lisburn Castlereagh's Treasured Opportunities
Tourism development could mean £30 million per annum to Lisburn Castlereagh’s economy.
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council announced that up to £30million could be injected into the Lisburn Castlereagh economy, right across the tourism sector, with the fulfilment of their tourism vision which was launched at an event in the Tower of London last night (17 April) attended by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shailesh Vara MP.
Jointly hosted by Historic Royal Palaces, the charity behind the £20 million redevelopment of Hillsborough Castle, the event marked the start of the Council’s most ambitious investment programme to date and investors including Hotel and Commercial Developers learned of the vast opportunities that will be presented when the transformation of Hillsborough Castle is completed in 2019. It is hoped that the project will inspire wider tourism development of the Council area.
Guests were treated to a real taste of Lisburn Castlereagh with local produce from Carnbrooke Meats, Brambleberry Jams, Abernethy Butter, Hughes Distillery and Hilden Brewery.
Shailesh Vara MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Northern Ireland Office said: “Hillsborough Castle has played an important role in the history of Northern Ireland politics with many crucial meetings taking place there over the years. But, tonight, we are looking ahead and to Historic Royal Palace’s impressive ambition for the Castle’s future.
“I look forward to the official reopening this summer when I’m sure the Castle will, once again, become a significant attraction in Lisburn & Castlereagh's already vibrant tourism market.”
Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee, Alderman Allan Ewart, MBE, said: “It is a really exciting time for Lisburn Castlereagh with landmark tourist attractions such as Hillsborough Castle leading to a surge in visitors to our region. This is great news for the vibrant and growing tourism market in Northern Ireland but it is also great for our local economy and enhances our offering to investors. We are home to a tourist attraction unlike anything else on the island of Ireland and that sets us apart from other areas. I am delighted to be launching the Council’s Corporate Plan as well as our tourism vision at this evening’s event.”
Head of Hillsborough Castle, Patricia Corbett is looking forward to the re-opening of the castle in July, and the grand re-opening in 2019: “Hillsborough Castle will continue to act as a Royal Residence but following considerable investment we have increased public access and improved the visitor experience significantly. The story we have to tell of the Castle’s fascinating history and our fabulous gardens means Hillsborough Castle is a ‘must see’ destination to any tourist.”
Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Dr. Theresa Donaldson said: “We are fortunate to have many great tourism assets and world-class events in our area but it is the drive and ambition of the Council working with public and private partnerships that will see Lisburn Castlereagh experience its biggest period of economic growth. The additional spend in our area due to our enhanced offering and the creation of jobs will have a significant impact on our region.”
The Mayor, Councillor Tim Morrow, was also at the event and said: “It is encouraging to see leading figures from the tourism industry join with the Council and Historic Royal Palaces to help us to promote the region to investors who are looking to Lisburn Castlereagh for their next project. The relationship we have with Historic Royal Palaces means we are working together to make sure Hillsborough Castle is the next big success story for Northern Ireland tourism.”
The Tower of London ‘Treasured Opportunities’ was the first event of the Council’s five-day investment programme in London, which will also include a networking event in partnership with Sir. Jeffrey Donaldson and a dedicated food and drink trade mission to the city.