Cunningham welcomes £750,000 investment in Glenariff Forest Park

25 03 2014


Moyle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed the plans announced for a substantial £750,000 investment at Glenariff Forest Park under the Forestry Fund.

Councillor Cunningham added: “This investment came after Moyle Council had developed a comprehensive and strategic proposal for the upgrade of forest based recreation and tourist facilities in the three major forests in the Moyle area namely Ballycastle, Ballypatrick and Glenariff.”

“The development of as high quality caravan and camping facility in Glenariff Forest Park will include 43 Caravan and Camper van site plus 9 Timber Tents is the first phase of a much bigger and more ambitious project which will play an important role in catering for and encouraging recreation and tourism within the Glens of Antrim.”

Councillor Cunningham continued

“Forest recreation and tourism promotes a better quality of life and improves people’s physical and mental health.  This development will provide a spur to the fragile rural economy and local community and will help regenerate Glenariff.”

Mark H Durkan announces £186k for regeneration project in Waterfoot

7 01 2014

Waterfoot Toilet Project


Environment Minister Mark H Durkan announced a grant of over £186,000 which will allow Moyle Council to press ahead with an innovative regeneration project –converting a disused toilet block into a coastal centre.  

The project will bring much needed revenue to the area and provide employment opportunities in retail, catering and tourism as well as a community facility not available locally. Local artists and craft makers will be provided with retail space for their goods. The project will create three jobs and support a further three indirect positions within the local economy.

Outlining how the funding will be used, the Minister responsible for the Coastal Communities Fund, Mark H Durkan said: “The Coastal Communities Fund is designed to support the economic development of communities along our coasts. It promotes regeneration and economic growth through projects that directly or indirectly create sustainable jobs and safeguard existing jobs.

“Coastal communities have been shown to be very resourceful and this project is an excellent example of how funding can encourage cross-sector partnerships working together for the benefit of the community and to stimulate local initiative. As a result of the grants these projects will create employment at all skills levels and support jobs in the local Glenariff community.”

Concluding Minister Durkan said: “The next round of Coastal Communities Fund will open early in the New Year. I would urge coastal communities to visit the Big Lottery Fund website to find out more about the Fund and start preparing their projects. What I and DOE are about is building a better environment and a stronger economy. This will help do that.”

Job opportunities at Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme

8 11 2013

Heart of the Glens

Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust are now recruiting four positions for the Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme.  For more details and to download an application pack please visit the links below. 

 Heart of the Glens LPS Manager

Responsible for the overall implementation of the Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme.

 Heart of the Glens LPS Landscape Projects Officer

Responsible for the delivery of landscape projects within the Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme.

 Heart of the Glens LPS Outreach and Volunteer Officer

Responsible for the delivery of outreach and volunteer engagement activities in the Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme.

 Heart of the Glens LPS Administration and Finance Officer (Part-time)

Responsible for the administrative and financial support in the delivery of the Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme.

Alternatively you can request an application pack by contacting our office on (028) 2075 2100 or email

 The deadline for applications is Friday 22nd November 2013 at 3pm.

Long term commitment for the Glens of Antrim’s unique landscapes

3 10 2013

Heart of the Glens

 The iconic Glens of Antrim are to be the focus of a new project thanks to the £1.4million grant, which was awarded to the CausewayCoast and Glens Heritage Trust (CCGHT) through HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme. 

Announcing this latest investment, HLF Chief Executive, Carole Souter, said: ““We […] recognise that our landscapes are famous for their beauty throughout the world, and along with our cultural and built heritage, give Northern Ireland its unique tourist offering.  So it is wonderful to be able to commit a further £1.4million through the programme to the Heart of the Glens. They have great plans and I’m excited to see what they deliver over the next five years. We are confident there will be huge benefits for both the landscape and the local communities who live and work there.”

 The Glens of Antrim consist of nine impressive glens on the AntrimCoast which run down to the dramatic cliffs, headlands and bays of the rocky North Channel coastline.  The area is one of high scenic value, important habitats and vigorous community life.  It is a popular tourist destination thanks to its coast road, distinctive farmsteads known as Clachans and traditional field patterns.  The four coastal villages of Glenarm, Cushendall, Cushendun and Carnlough alongside the town of Ballycastle, all designated Conservation Areas, are home to the majority of the population of the glens and each has its own distinct relationship with the glens.

A collection of individual projects will run across the five year programme including activities to support land owners with habitat surveys; help to increase wildlife and develop a plan for the long-term management of the area.  The local community will be able to showcase their unique landscape by taking part in a diverse range of events and activities such as heritage festivals, community photography schemes and archaeology days. People will be trained and supported to help deliver some of the activities through the development of a dedicated volunteer programme.

 Welcoming news of the grant, Maxime Sizaret, Chief Executive with CCGHT, said: “HLF’s strong commitment to the Landscape Partnership Scheme in the Glens of Antrim alongside support from a range of partners including the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, NI Tourist Board Moyle, Larne, Ballymena and Ballymoney Borough and District Councils will bring positive actions during the next 5 years to the Glens’ unique landscapes, heritage and communities”.



Cushendall and Ballycastle Community Firestations

27 05 2013


Moyle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham and SDLP  Health spokesperson Conall McDevitt held talks with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Services management at their headquarters in Lisburn in relation to the proposed replacement Community Fire Stations in Cushendall and Ballycastle.

Speaking after the meeting Mr McDevitt said

“We are encouraged by the work of Chief Fire Officer Chris Kerr and Gary Thompson, Northern Area Commander to bring forward a full Business Case to the NIFRS Management Board for a replacement fire station to service Cushendall and the Glens. The local community have made the case for a new build and we are confident that the Business Case will reflect this as the only viable option. We will continue to fully support this case especially when it is presented to the Department for Capital funding.”

Councillor Cunningham continued

“We also made the case that the replacement Community Fire station for Ballycastle which needed to be kept firmly on the agenda. The Ballycastle project had an Approved Business Case in February 2011, and outline planning permission for a site on Ramoan Road approved in October 2011. Since then the project has not secured Capital funding. NIFRS assured us that the business case was still live and had been recently updated and remained on the table for approved Capital funding”


Where are the hardship payments for Farmers?

16 04 2013

Sheep at Torr

Joe Byrne SDLP MLA and Vice Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, has asked DARD why no hardship cash payments have yet been paid to farmers badly affected at a meeting of the Agricultural Committee today.

Senior officials at today’s meeting outlined how the fallen animals’ collection of dead sheep and cattle as a result of the recent snow storm has been progressing. Over 20,000 sheep and 700 cattle have been collected. The two rendering companies designated by DARD have been doing the collection at farms as requested through the DARD helpline system.

Joe Byrne said ‘Farmers who have suffered the losses of dead sheep and cattle in the affected areas have still received no hardship cash payments. I am astounded that DARD has not yet made a minimum threshold cash aid payment to those who have registered with DARD.

“Many of these farmers are in severe financial difficulties with restricted banking facilities. They need help now, and I am calling on the DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill to make immediate cash payments to those farmers in immediate need. She needs cut through bureaucratic red tape until the final compensation losses can be assessed.

‘Finally there has to be a greater urgency to bring immediate relief to those farmers who are suffering badly.’’

Farmers who lost livestock urged to protect their LFACA claims

12 04 2013




dead sheep


Moyle SDLP Councillors Dónal Cunningham and Catherine McCambridge have urged local farmers who have lost livestock as a result of the recent snow to protect their 2014 Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances claims by informing the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the details of their losses.

Councillor Cunningham said

“Farmers who have lost stock need to contact the Department of Agriculture before the 15th May to protect their LFACA claim.

According to DARD special forms will be available from the 17thApril from their offices or from their website, we would urge all farmers who experienced livestock loss to use the form to report the exceptional circumstance and not risk their claim being based on the number of animals that have survived as opposed to their original flocks.

“As these claims are made on the 2013 Single Application Form and require the farmer to have appropriate stocking density between 1st April and 31st October 2013, many farmers will no longer meet the required stocking density due to the exceptional circumstances of their loss through the severe snow”.

“We will be more than happy to assist any farmers with the completion of these forms”