Tourism development could drive additional £30m annual investment in Lisburn Castlereagh economy

Pictured at the Tower of London are: Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's development committee, Allan Ewart; council chief executive, Dr Theresa Donaldson; head of Hillsborough Castle, Patricia Corbett and councillor Tim Morrow.

FOCUSED tourism development could generate an additional £30 million a year for the Lisburn and Castlereagh economy, according to the local council.

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has said the area could benefit from significant investment right across the tourism sector if its succeeds with its new tourism vision, launched at an event in the Tower of London on Tuesday night.

Jointly hosted by Historic Royal Palaces, the charity behind the £20m redevelopment of Hillsborough Castle and attended by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shailesh Vara, the event marked the start of the council's most ambitious investment programme to date and investors including hotel and commercial developers learned of the opportunities that will be presented when the transformation of Hillsborough Castle is completed next year.

Guests were also treated to a taste of the area, with local produce from Carnbrooke Meats, Brambleberry Jams, Abernethy Butter, Hughes Distillery and Hilden Brewery.

Chief executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Dr Theresa Donaldson said the new tourism vision can facilitate strong economic growth.

“We are fortunate to have many great tourism assets and world-class events in our area, but it is the drive and ambition of the council working with public and private partnerships that will see Lisburn Castlereagh experience its biggest period of economic growth. The additional spend in our area due to our enhanced offering and the creation of jobs will have a significant impact on our region.”

Head of Hillsborough Castle, Patricia Corbett is looking forward to the re-opening of the castle in July, and the grand re-opening in 2019.

“Hillsborough Castle will continue to act as a Royal Residence, but following considerable investment we have increased public access and improved the visitor experience significantly. The story we have to tell of the castle's fascinating history and our fabulous gardens means Hillsborough Castle is a ‘must see' destination to any tourist.”

The Tower of London ‘Treasured Opportunities' was the first event of the council's five-day investment programme in London, which will also include a networking event and a dedicated food and drink trade mission to the city.

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