Ballymoney Council supports Causeway Centre remaining in public ownership
Ballymoney Council have backed a Sinn Féin motion supporting the public sector proposal for a Visitors Centre at the Giant's Causeway. The DUP-dominated council also recognised that any decision to hand the Visitors Centre over to a private developer would "result in a loss in public income" and the "possible loss of World heritage status".
North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA and Ballymoney Councillor Daithí McKay said:
"There is a clear message coming out from Ballymoney Council tonight that the Council supports the Visitors' Centre being kept in public ownership and this is also reflective of the position adopted by Moyle and Coleraine Councils.
"The Councils here on the north coast, and the general public, are deeply concerned at the situation which has developed here and the possibility that World Heritage Status for the Causeway could be lost. North Antrim MLAs, as well as the MP for the area cannot ignore the fact that two North Antrim Councils are opposed to the Visitors Centre being taken out of public hands, and I believe that this is reflective of the views of the general public."
Councillor Philip McGuigan, who proposed the motion said:
"It is important to remember that after the Review of Public Administration Ballymoney will probably be part of the same Council which covers the Causeway so this is something that the Council and its representatives do have a clear interest in.
"Any rash decisions to approve the private application for a Visitors' Centre could result in the Causeway losing its World Heritage Status and will result in money being taken out of the public purse and into the private sector. People across North Antrim are clearly opposed to this and these views must be taken into account." ENDS
The motion passed at the Council meeting was:
"That this Council supports the public sector proposal for a Visitors Centre at the Giant's Causeway and recognises that any decision to hand the Giant's Causeway Visitors Centre over to a private developer will result in a loss in public income in the medium-long term and the possible loss of World Heritage Status."