Private Co Down estate to open as tourist attraction, creating 30 jobs

Pictured at Montalto Estate are: Estate duty manager, Bernie Hyland; David Wilson, managing director of Montalto Estate and John McGrillen, chief executive, Tourism NI.
Gareth McKeown

A NEW Co Down tourist attraction is creating 30 jobs following major private investment.

Montalto Estate, located just outside Ballynahinch will open to the public for the first time in the autumn, with visitors gaining access to the expansive 400 acre grounds.

Purchased by the Wilson family in 1995 they created a luxury venue for business and corporate clients at the estate, before a further renovation in 2012 led to the creation of award-winning wedding venue - The Carriage Rooms.

The latest investment opens up the estate to the public and the new visitor experience includes access to the estate’s gardens, walks and trails. It also includes a children's play area and purpose built centre, which features a 120-seat café.

Once complete up to 30 new full and part-time roles are to be created at the estate on the top of the 40 staff employed during construction.

Managing director of Montalto Estate, David Wilson said they were excited to finally opening the estate to the public.

"For the first time ever visitors will have the opportunity to see the beautiful gardens, walks and trails that makes Montalto a truly mystical and enchanting place to visit," he said.

"This investment is part of our ongoing business growth strategy which includes the award winning The Carriage Rooms at Montalto wedding and conference venue. Our aim is to provide a top class visitor attraction which will not only add to the existing Northern Ireland visitor experience but which will encourage visitors into the region. The investment also provides us with the opportunity to preserve the unique character and heritage of this magnificent site which will help to ensure its long term future as an important landmark and visitor destination within Co. Down.”

Chief executive of Tourism NI, John McGrillen welcomed the new addition to the local market.

"Attractions such as Montalto Estate which enable visitors to connect with the culture, heritage and landscape of Northern Ireland are key to ensuring our continued success in attracting visitors to the region," he added.

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