This weeks opening of the new Events Space at Kilbroney Park will enhance an already blossoming tourist attraction.

Kilbroney Forrest Park located on the East Coast attracts a large number of visitors annually.  The park has the magnificent Fairy Glen running along the boundary and also provides access to the popular ‘Big Stone’ at Cloughmore, near the summit of Slieve Martin and the picturesque area known locally as ‘Fiddlers Green’. The Park provides a wide range of recreational facilities for all age groups.    

Visitors to Kilbroney for the official opening of the new Event Space.
Visitors to Kilbroney for the official opening of the new Event Space.

The multi purpose events space has received significant funding from the EU INTERREG IVA Programme through the East Border Region as part of the Tourism Development Programme.  This programme has funded a range of tourism facilities which seeks to enhance the tourism product of the entire East Border Region.   Recent investment has seen the extensive product portfolio enhanced with the provision of 27km Cross Country Trails, two purpose built downhill trails, a dedicated mountain bike car park and to be enhanced this month with the new Narnia and Cloughmore Trails project.  This product development has seen investment in the region of £1.2 million.

Kilbroney Park is an increasing popular venue for events ranging from Mountain Biking Adventure Racing, walking, biodiversity, wildlife, to name just some.  These events cater for a broad spectrum including children, athletes, families, tourist and cyclists.  The Park has played/hosted to major events in recent years such as The World Police & Fire Games, Rostrevor Mountain Bike Festival, Red Bull Foxhunt, Kilbroney Vintage Show and National Cross Country Events

Whilst the Council is very pleased with the vast range of events, they were equally aware that the opportunity existed to improve the quality of the visitor experience to Kilbroney whilst also encouraging a wider range of groups, events, activities, using the park, if an indoor space was available.

East Border Region also recognised the need identified by Newry & Mourne District Council and as part of the East Border Region Tourism Partnership secured funding from INTERREG IVA to provide a multi purpose building in the heart of Kilbroney Park.

Through a package of funding in the region of £430,000 INTERREG IVA through the Special EU Programmes Body and Newry and Mourne District Council, the new multi purpose building has been completed.

Officially opening the new building Mayor of Newry & Mourne District Council, Councillor Daire Hughes said “This new building will provide a much needed resource at a key tourism facility in the District.  The building will assist in attracting a wide range of new uses to the Park whilst improving the facilities available to the existing event organisers”.

Also speaking at the launch Cllr Alan McDowell, Chairman of East Border Region said “East Border Region is delighted to have been in a position to fund this facility through the Tourism Development Programme, the building will provide a valuable resource to the area and contribute to the visitor offering which has been greatly enhanced over recent years.  I wish Newry & Mourne District Council every success with this facility in the future” 

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