Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has visited Ballycastle to review £17,500 improvement project to help Ballycastle ‘gear up’ for the Giro d’Italia bike race in May.
Visiting Ballycastle Minister McCausland said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the people of Ballycastle to show case their town to a worldwide audience. I share with my Executive colleagues and Local Government our pleasure in being able to stage this prestigious event, which will attract mass interest and media coverage across so many of our towns and cities.
“The funding provided by my Department will be used to improve properties along the seafront which may be seen by millions of viewers across the globe. The many visitors and tourists will experience a warm welcome and the funding will provide a lasting legacy for the people of Ballycastle.”
Cara McShane Chairperson of Moyle Council said: “Working in partnership with the Department for Social Development we have been able to contribute to the appearance of North Street and boost confidence as we prepare to host one of the most prestigious world sporting events namely the Giro D’Italia. I would encourage everyone to come to Ballycastle and experience a wonderful welcome.”
Donal Cunningham who chairs the Revitalise Ballycastle steering group which is working to regenerate Ballycastle Town Centre, said: “Town centres and their appearance are vital to the quality of community life, despite limited budgets it is essential that we work to revitalise town centres in innovative ways. I have no doubt that Ballycastle will be a successful host for the Giro d’Italia and that local businesses will use the occasion as a spur for the local economy.”
Funding for the Grande Partenza will come from a range of tourism stakeholders and sponsors, including the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) through the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland. Other funders include Belfast City Council, Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Mediolanum International Funds/Life. The total cost to Northern Ireland is expected to be in the region of £4.2million, with £3million from DETI/EU.