Twelve tourism and hospitality jobs have been created since the establishment of the East Antrim Tourism Hub, a programme led by Carrickfergus Enterprise.
The announcement comes at the launch of the East Antrim Coastal Way tourism route, the latest of a number of initiatives aimed at boosting tourism in the area.
The programme has bolstered local hospitality offering through training and business support over the past year while the development of the East Antrim Coastal Way aims to bring tourists to the area and create further jobs in the coming months.
Kelli Bagchus, manager of Carrickfergus Enterprise commented:
“The East Antrim Coastal Hub has made a real impact on local communities through the creation of these 12 jobs, all of which are at small, independent businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry. We expect to see that number increase in the coming months as we launch the East Antrim Coastal Way.
“By highlighting our landmarks on the east Antrim coast, we will bring more tourists to the area and establish our local industry as a key contributor to the Northern Ireland tourism industry.”
Alison Brennen operates rental accommodation close to a number of destinations on the route. She commented:
“The viability of our business depends on tourists coming to this area and staying here. We have attractions here of great historical and natural significance that have gone under the radar during the recent growth of the local tourism industry.
“Coming into the summer months, we’re looking forward to seeing the additional benefits that this tourism boost will bring to the local businesses and communities involved.”
The Coastal Communities Fund, which supported this initiative, is funded by the Government with income from the Crown Estate’s marine assets. It is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of the UK Government and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.