Nine Glens of Antrim are saved!

THE famous Nine Glens of Antrim have been saved after all!

There was concern that only seven of the Glens were going to qualify as part of a funding application.

But now it has emerged all nine will be included.

The problem initially was that the funding criteria meant the application area was restricted to 200 square kilometres and that meant two of the Glens - Glentaisie and Glenshesk - faced being left out.

But now all nine Glens have been squeezed in.

Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust are behind the ‘Landscape Partnership Scheme - Heat of the Glens’ project.

Trust Director Helen Noble told a meeting of Moyle Council last week: “We managed to get all nine Glens in.”

Last year when it emerged Glentaisie and Glenshesk faced being left out, Ballycastle Independent councillor Seamus Blaney told the Times: “It is unfair to axe two of the Glens who will lose out if the funding is secured and the Seven Glens of Antrim will never have the same ring to it as the famous Nine Glens of Antrim. Every schoolboy knows there are nine Glens and not seven!”

But speaking at the meeting last week, when the update was given, he told Ms Noble: “The last time you were here you excluded Glenshesk and Glentaisie - two of the nicest Glens in Antrim - and thank God they are included.”

Cushendall Independent councillor Colum Thompson said it was excellent to know that all the Glens are included.

Glens Sinn Fein councillor Noreen McAllister said she really welcomed the scheme concerning the Glens which she said: “It is about time money is going to be spent in the Glens.”

Ms Noble said the scheme could help leverage £1.9 million of funding for the area.

One part of the scheme will be trying to boost stone wall and hedge boundaries in the Glens and Ms Noble said courses may be available through local colleges and she said it would assist in keeping young people in the area.

Ulster Unionist councillor Joan Baird said she was pleased to see money coming into the area.

Report: Nevin Farrell.