Mr Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA and Chairman of the Stormont Employment and Learning Committee, has “warmly welcomed the start of a £100,000 new works for Rathlin Island, which will be a terrific support for both islanders and tourists alike, hopefully resulting in a knock-on boost for the island economy”.
Assemblyman Swann, who is also UUP Chief Whip, made his remarks as his party colleague and Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy announced the start of the new works on.
The majority of the work will involve resurfacing. There are also plans to carry out some road drainage improvements, to eliminate carriageway flooding, at the sea front near the harbour and road strengthening patching works on the Western Spine.
The work will start on Monday 3November 2014 with the surfacing of the Southern Spine Road near Ushet Lough. The length of this surfacing extends to 0.9km and will complete the formal bituminous surfacing on this part of the public road out towards the Southern lighthouse.
Minister Kennedy said: “As a result of the surfacing works on the Southern Spine Road approximately 98 percent of the public roads on the island will now have a bitumen macadam surface, providing a significant benefit to both islanders and tourist visitors.”
Mr Swann added: “Rathlin Island has an important role to play in the development of the overall North Antrim economy and this major funding investment should not be seen in isolation. Indeed, the expansion of the Rathlin economy is also central to the wider regeneration of the entire economy of the North Coast. Having visited Rathlin a number of times, I am acutely aware of the important part which tourism plays in maintaining a vibrant economy on the island and encouraging greater numbers of visitors to tour Rathlin. This latest announcement by Minister Kennedy is proof that the UUP is delivering for all parts of North Antrim.”