£10k Giant’s Causeway partnership is music to Dunluce pupils’ ears

Dunluce pupils who have benefitted from the funding along with teacher Mr Lutton and principal, Philip Smyth
Dunluce pupils who have benefitted from the funding along with teacher Mr Lutton and principal, Philip Smyth

Children at Dunluce School in Bushmills are benefiting from £10,000 funding from the National Trust at the Giant’s Causeway.

Pupils are enjoying new facilities and equipment following a partnership between the school and UNESCO World Heritage site.

Esther Dobbin and Neville McConaghie are pictured at Dunluce School, where they were shown how funding is being used.

Esther Dobbin and Neville McConaghie are pictured at Dunluce School, where they were shown how funding is being used.

The funding has been used to refurbish a room into a drama studio and build a nurturing room for first year students. New musical equipment including electric drum-kits and keyboards and 25 laptops has also been purchased.

Esther Dobbin, Commercial Operations manager, National Trust Northern Ireland, said: “We have strong ties with the local community and the Giant’s Causeway is a part of the lives of the local people here.

“The National Trust is committed to providing a tourism offering that benefits the community and is sustainable and responsible.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Dunluce School, whose pupils and staff are also involved in our volunteering programme and help us protect the special places and outside spaces that make this region attractive to visitors.

Dunluce School received funding from the National Trust to refurbish a room into a drama studio and build a nurturing room for first year students. Heather McLachlan, National Trust regional director, Philip Smyth, principal and Miss McAuley with some of the pupils who have benefited from the partnership.

Dunluce School received funding from the National Trust to refurbish a room into a drama studio and build a nurturing room for first year students. Heather McLachlan, National Trust regional director, Philip Smyth, principal and Miss McAuley with some of the pupils who have benefited from the partnership.

“It is fantastic to see funding from the site making a difference to local schoolchildren.”

Commenting on the initiative, Philip Smyth, principal of Dunluce School, said: “In the current financial climate, the partnership between the school and the National Trust is mutually beneficial to both parties. Most importantly the finance generated is spent locally to benefit children from the North Coast area.

“We have been able to roll out projects that would otherwise not have been possible and we are grateful to the Trust for the continued links.”

Through this partnership, the school has opened its car park to those visiting the Giant’s Causeway during peak season, supporting the existing park and ride system.

The National Trust has agreed to continue their partnership into 2018, providing a short-term solution to car parking at the world-renowned tourist attraction.