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New hotel another step for North Antrim in realising it's true tourism potential - McKay

21 February, 2012

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has welcomed the decision to approve a planning application for a new £100millon golf resort on the North Antrim coast. Mr McKay said it was a key piece of tourism infrastructure for the area that would lead to further investment and more events coming to the north coast. He also said that government should now build on this further by securing further infrastructure  for tourism in the form of the proposed A26 upgrade and supporting  a second hotel already approved for development in Ballycastle.

Mr McKay said

"The North Antrim coast is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland but it is somewhere that has not realised it's full tourism potential in the past.

"The passing of this application is one factor that will certainly help to change that, adding to the tourist infrastructure here, creating over 300 jobs and bringing a larger number of tourists into North Antrim for overnight stays as opposed to day-trippers.

"Sinn Féin are fully supportive of the development of golf tourism and this will certainly boost our chances of hosting more major tournaments. Another key piece of work is the upgrading of the A26 as this will decrease journey times between the north coast and local airports as well as Dublin. I think that this work needs to be seen as a key part of tourism infrastructure in addition to being necessary to improve road safety. 

"The development of the tourism sector on the north coast needs to be balanced however and  Invest NI must provide the necessary support to build another hotel in Ballycastle, one that has already been passed by Planning Service.  There can be no excuses for not doing this.

"All in all this is good news locally as it will create much needed jobs, will lead to further investment and will act as an economic multiplier as it will have obvious  benefits for businesses on the north coast."

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