Ballycastle Coalfields Area of Special Scientific Interest
Mr Swann asked the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment what assessment her Department has made of the tourism potential of the Ballycastle Coalfields Area of Special Scientific Interest and its potential links to the Atlantic Salt Trail Project.
Mrs Foster: The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has just recently been made aware of the European Ecosal Atlantis Project and understands that Carrickmore Road, Ballycastle is a potential site in terms of developing an Atlantic Salt Route trail. Therefore in light of available detailed project information no assessment has yet been made.
The Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI) within my department having been approached a number of years ago on the Ballycastle saltmines initiative are willing to assist the project if required, as the department has a statutory responsibility for abandoned/disused mines.
NITB understands that the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust (CCGHT), with a responsibility for sustainable tourism in the Causeway Coast and Glen’s region, has also been approached regarding this Ecosal Atlantis Project. CCGHT, with assistance from NITB, is currently developing a heritage trails project in the region however they hope to engage with the project promoter of the Saltmines Project with input from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.