- Presentation marks 50th anniversary of the formation of the Ulster Defence Regiment
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has marked the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Ulster Defence Regiment with a special presentation.
Alderman Mark Fielding met with members of the UDR Association’s Coleraine branch in the Diamond for the socially distanced event.
The Mayor presented a framed Coat of Arms and received an engraved blackthorn stick and a copy of Dr Stephen Herron’s book ‘A Lifetime Looking Over Your Shoulder – The Experiences of the Ulster Defence Regiment’ to mark the occasion.
- Council launches annual Christmas window competition
The coveted title of ‘Best Window Display’ is up for grabs as Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s annual Christmas competition gets underway.
The standard of town centre window displays has soared year after year, with bright, colourful creativity helping to attract shoppers and spread Christmas cheer. Given the challenges of recent months, this has never been more important.
One winner will be selected for each location in Bushmills, Cushendall, Dungiven, Garvagh, Kilrea, Portrush and Portstewart as well as Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady.
A panel of independent judges will assess and score displays based on the following:
How attractive is the display?
How well designed and creative is the display?
How much does the display contribute to a positive town centre experience for local shoppers and visitors?
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Mark Fielding, said: “2020 has been a very difficult year for our town centres and local businesses. Every one of us is hoping that the Christmas season will mark a positive turning point in the fight against the pandemic, and that the New Year will see a steady recovery of our local economy.
This Christmas season, more than ever, we are urging people to do their shopping locally by exploring the retail offering in towns and villages across the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough.
“Festive-themed windows have become a great attraction and I encourage all our town centre traders to make the most of this opportunity to embrace the season and enhance the shopping experience your business and town has to offer.”
Each town winner will receive a small trophy in recognition of their creative efforts. There is no need to formally enter the competition. Just make sure your window is beautifully dressed before 5pm on Friday 4th December. Winners will be announced on Monday 14th December 2020.
For further information please contact the Council’s Town Management team on 028 7034 7034 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Christmas celebrations go virtual in Causeway Coast & Glens
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Christmas celebrations are going virtual this year, with an array of online festive fun to look forward to.
Alongside craft workshops, cookery demonstrations and some very special story-telling, you’ll be able to watch the Christmas lights switched on in your local area from the safety and comfort of your home via the Causeway Coast and Glens Events Facebook page and the Visit Causeway YouTube channel.
There’ll also be Christmas messages for you to enjoy, including one all the way from the North Pole.
Reflecting on this innovative approach, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Alderman Mark Fielding said: “Our traditional Christmas programme has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But despite current challenges, we’ve adapted our plans to bring festive joy to the whole borough. I hope our online events will bring people together in a different way and help to instil the joy of the festive period within our communities.
“Our staff have been working hard to make sure our towns and villages are filled with Christmas sparkle and their efforts are welcomed by all of us.
Council’s Shop, Eat, Enjoy local message has added significance this year and I want to ask you all to support our local businesses during the countdown to Christmas. Our towns and villages have so much to offer, alongside our thriving artisan community, so please consider this as you plan your shopping lists.
“Please look out for each other this Christmas and continue to follow the public health advice as we live through these trying times. While we want to make this a special time for friends and family, it’s important that we do this in a way which keeps us safe.
The online programme includes Christmas craft demonstrations for children and adults with local artist Lorna Kyle.Fabulous festive tales will be the focus for a series of children’s storytelling sessions, led by Madeline McCully and Stephen O’Hara, all set in some very familiar locations across Causeway Coast and Glens.
For food fans, culinary creativity will be served up with cooking demonstrations from Taste Causeway ambassador Paula McIntyre who will make a stunning seasonal starter, magical main and delicious dessert with easy to find local ingredients which you can replicate on Christmas Day.
Christmas Lights Switch On events
Please note, all events have been pre-recorded. Christmas lights will be switched on at an unannounced time in all locations to prevent mass gatherings.
Ballymoney – Thursday 19th November
Limavady – Saturday 21st November
Ballycastle – Thursday 26th November
Coleraine – Friday 27th November
Portstewart – Saturday 28th November
Dungiven – Saturday 28th November
Garvagh – Monday 30th November
Portrush – Friday 4th December
Kilrea – Saturday 5th December
Other online events
Friday 27th November, Children’s Christmas Story Telling, 2pm
Friday 4th December, Children’s Christmas Story Telling, 2pm
Monday 7th December, 2pm. Food Demonstration with Paula McIntyre (Christmas Starter recipe idea).
Tuesday 8th December, 2pm. Food Demonstration with Paula McIntyre (Christmas dinner Main recipe idea).
Wednesday 9th December, 2pm. Food Demonstration with Paula McIntyre (Christmas dinner dessert recipe idea).
Saturday 12th December, Children’s Storytelling, 2pm
Tuesday 15th December, Christmas Crafts, 7pm.
Friday 18th December, Children’s Christmas Story Telling, 2pm
Friday 18th December, Children’s Christmas Crafts 4pm
Saturday 19th December, Christmas Message from Mayor and Santa, 4pm
For more information go to www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com/christmas/ or follow the Causeway Coast and Glens Facebook page for the latest updates.
- Next phase of Executive’s Covid-19 public information campaign launched
The Executive launched the next phase of its Coronavirus public information campaign in the run-up to Christmas.
It’s the latest phase of the multi-channel campaign, and shows how the virus can spread through close personal contact in unregulated settings.
First Minister Arlene Foster said: “We have been living with Coronavirus in our community since March and I know many people are getting tired and frustrated with the virus and the impact on their lives. That can lead to complacency and this new phase of our campaign is to remind everyone to remain vigilant against the threat of the virus.
“We all have a role to play in lowering the transmission of the virus across the community. That’s why we must all continue to keep following the public health advice, keep ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbours safe.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “There is no doubt that we are facing into a very tough winter but there is room to be hopeful and optimistic that we continue to move closer to the end of this pandemic. That’s why it’s so important that we don’t become complacent now.
“Coronavirus spreads through person to person contact and the advertisement campaign is there to remind us to limit our contact with others to suppress the spread of the virus. If every person follows all the advice then we have a much better chance of getting on top of this virus.”
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “This year has been extremely difficult for everyone. Coronavirus has left too many families bereaved and has caused untold damage to our health service and economy. But now is not the time to give up, we must continue to work together to beat this virus. We must all continue to follow the public health advice and limit our contact with others.
“We can assure you this will not last forever, we will emerge from this pandemic and we will all have brighter days with our family and friends again.”
- Northern Lights Sessions return with an evening of music and words from Bernie McGill and Hannah McPhillimy
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Northern Lights programme is set to deliver a stunning evening of music and words from author Bernie McGill and singer/songwriter Hannah McPhillimy.
These two acclaimed artists, whose work is inspired by the distinctive land and seascapes of the Causeway Coast, will take to the virtual stage for the free to view performance on Thursday 19th November at 8pm via the Facebook pages and Youtube channels of Flowerfield Arts Centre and Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre.
An award winning writer, Bernie McGill’s first novel, The Butterfly Cabinet, is set in Portstewart and was inspired by the tragic events surrounding the Montague family in 1892. Her most recent novel, The Watch House, set on Rathlin Island at the time of the Marconi wireless experiments, was nominated for the Ireland European Union Prize for Literature in 2019. Its themes of enforced isolation, new technologies in communication, and of the ingenuity of people to overcome the restrictions of their environment, are distinctly appropriate for the times we find ourselves in.
On the night, Bernie will be in conversation with Dr Jessica Bates, senior lecturer at Ulster University’s School of Education.
A North Coast native, singer/songwriter Hannah McPhillimy’s brand of thoughtful indie-pop takes its influences from artists across the Atlantic, including Regina Spektor and Feist, while retaining an unpredictable beauty that is uniquely home-grown.
Hailed by The Irish Times as ‘a bit of a wonder’, Hannah has supported artists such as Foy Vance, SOAK and The Gloaming, and recently returned from touring in the U.S and completing her masters in classical composition at the prestigious Michigan University.
- Energy cost cutting ‘Project Girona’ launches with support of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is committed to bringing cost saving, flexible energy solutions to residents and businesses of the Borough.
At a recent presentation to elected members, the Project Girona team set out their plans to bring cheaper, cleaner, smarter energy to domestic customers. Members were informed that through the scheme, homes will be installed with a free Sonnen battery and solar panels (where required) so that householders can generate and store their own energy and use it when required.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Alderman Mark Fielding said: “We welcome Project Girona to the borough and are focused on ensuring that the Council’s long-term strategic plans around energy reflect and support the needs of businesses and households operating within the Borough. Council has identified energy as a key issue in its plans for attracting investment and increasing employment in the council area.
“We are pleased to support this initiative and are keen to examine how the transition of the current energy system and regulatory changes taking place in the electricity market could impact local residents and businesses”.
The Project Girona team outlined their ambitious plans to prove that a combination of targeted grid development, commercial and domestic energy storage can resolve the issues of growing need and constrained energy supply. If successful, it will offer the opportunity for similar solutions to be deployed quickly and more widely across Northern Ireland.
The Girona team is currently seeking suitable applicants to participate in its trial deployment of these new technologies. Residents of Coleraine (within the BT52 postcode), whose power supply comes from the Loguestown Substation, are welcome to find out more and register their interest at https://gironaenergy.com/how-do-i-register/
Any businesses or residents interested in finding out more about Council’s commitment to developing energy solutions please contact Strategic Projects Manager Niall McGurk at email@example.com
- Atlantic Sessions Virtual Festival
This weekend Causeway Coast and Glens Council in association with Snow Water will be bringing the Atlantic Sessions Virtual Festival to your homes! Artists have been filmed in stunning locations across Portstewart and Portrush during the last weeks, and we have three one hour ‘free to view’ programmes with exclusive performances, conversations, plus messages and videos from festival family and friends.
Artists featured include Anthony Toner, Conor Mason, Joel Harkin, Malojian, New Pagans, Peter O’Kane, Ports, Roe, Sasha Samara, The Darkling Air, Tour Alaska and the programmes are presented by Joe Lindsay. They feature six of the NI Music Prize 2020 nominees, local performers, plus tell the story of the rich musical heritage of the area, all filmed by the incredible Atlantic Ocean.
Last year saw the largest and most successful Atlantic Sessions to date with over 7000 people ascending on Portstewart and Portrush to see over 100 musicians. Audiences travelled from right across Ireland to hear musicians play throughout the four days. Restaurants, hotels, pubs, coffee shops, music venues and the Town Hall were packed with the festival attracting new customers for them. Snow Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody said “Atlantic Sessions is an award-winning four day festival with an incredible reputation for its passionate support of local talent.”
However this year Atlantic Sessions has been working in partnership with Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland in order to showcase local talent to a global audience, and are excited that for the first time the festival will be viewed across the world.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Alderman Mark Fielding said:
“Our Events programme has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and it is very disappointing that we are unable to bring you Atlantic Sessions in its usual format this year. However we are delighted to launch our Virtual Festival featuring some of the finest musicians in the country, performing at some of our most stunning outdoor locations, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. I hope that our virtual festival will still, in some, way bring people together and instill some joy at this difficult and uncertain time. I would like to thank all our host venues and festival goers for their support over the years and for your understanding at this time.”
Presenter Joe Lindsay commented:
“We’ll miss seeing you this year and we miss live music as much as you do, but we thought we’d do the next best thing and Atlantic Sessions to your homes! We wanted us all to be together, we wanted to experience the power and beauty of music. Together. As we’ve always done. And we will do again. Until then, keep supporting local music and venues in any way you can.”
Snow Water Director Carolyn Mathers said:
“Thank you to our dedicated audiences and venues for their support over the past years as they make the festival. We are excited that this year we can showcase Atlantic Sessions to viewers across the globe. You can continue to support your favourite local bands, singers, songwriters and musicians by buying their music and merchandise directly from their websites. Our creative community is precious and here’s to celebrating live music with you on the other side.”
We are delighted that some of the fabulous Taste Causeway providers have teamed up with us to offer some delicious treats for you to enjoy alongside Atlantic Sessions. Check them out at https://www.atlanticsessions.com/taste-causeway.php.
Free to view on Fri 13th, Sat 14th & Sun 15th November at 7pm to 8pm at atlanticsessions.com
- A Better Future Together – Draft Delivery Plan 2020
The Causeway Coast and Glens Community Planning Draft Delivery Plan 2020 is now available for all to view and to comment upon.
The Plan represents extensive partnership working across the whole range of public services available to the area including health, education, public safety, housing, our communities, the environment and the economy.
It is based on the Causeway Coast and Glens Community Plan which provides a long term vision and plan for the Causeway Coast and Glens area and all its citizens, setting out aspirations for a Healthy Safe Community, a Sustainable Accessible Environment and a Thriving Economy.
The Draft Delivery Plan focuses on achieving real outcomes for all who live, work and visit Causeway Coast and Glens and sets out a framework based on collaboration and partnership working around which to achieve them. It is based on the original Causeway Coast and Glens Community Plan which used an outcomes-based approach in consultation with our community to form a Strategy for a Better Future Together.
Welcoming the Delivery Plan, the new Chair of the Community Planning Strategic Partnership, Councillor Brenda Chivers said: “These are uncertain and difficult times for many of our citizens. We are confident that the thirty-four actions outlined in the draft Delivery Plan will address many of the main issues faced by individuals and communities across the area and care has been taken to ensure that any adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have been taken into account.
“It is our priority now to proceed work with partners to deliver the actions identified in the plan, and ultimately help realise our ambitions for a ‘Better Future Together’ in Causeway Coast and Glens.”
Please take time to read the Causeway Coast and Glens Community Planning Draft Delivery Plan and make use of the online questionnaire to provide comment. Individuals will not be identifiable from the results; some comment within responses to the survey may be disclosed, although they will not be attributed to anyone. We welcome your views.
We ask that you complete the survey by Sunday 29th November 2020.
Please select the link below to complete the online survey
In addition to the survey, the Community Planning Team is offering to meet with groups or individuals who wish to comment on the Draft Delivery Plan before final agreement and launch in early December 2020. These can be arranged to suit interests and numbers coming forward.
Arranged meetings, due to the circumstances will take place virtually (Zoom) – if you wish to participate in such a meeting please email firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday 16th November 2020 and we will make arrangements to accommodate you.
We sincerely thank all those who continue to contribute to our Community Plan. We particularly wish to thank all those who helped to develop the actions for inclusion in the Causeway Coast and Glens Delivery Plan 2020.
Please take time to read our Draft Delivery Plan and feel free to contact our Community Planning Team by email at email@example.com if you would like any other further information.
- Poots announces £1.5m investment to boost rural tourism in County Antrim
Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA has cut the first sod on a project that will form part of a wider £1.5million investment to boost rural tourism in County Antrim.
Magheracross viewpoint, situated on the Causeway Coast Way, a walking trail stretching from Portstewart to Ballycastle will receive £0.5million to be redeveloped. This will include two, state of the art, fully accessible, viewing platforms extending out to the edge of the cliffs, maximising the stunning views of Whiterocks beach and Dunluce Castle. New pathways will also be constructed, in addition to new parking facilities and soft landscaping.
The project is funded through the Rural Tourism Scheme of DAERA’s Rural Development Programme, and was awarded £0.5m grant funding. The Magheracross project is part of an overall funding allocation of £1.5m under the Rural Development Programme, aimed at enhancing tourism in the Causeway Coast area.
Following the sod cutting ceremony, Minister Poots said: “Tourism is vitally important to our rural economy and the competitive nature of the tourism marketplace, over the next few years, cannot be underestimated.
“I’m therefore delighted to be announcing the redevelopment of the Magheracross site. This area will serve as another must see destination for tourists arriving to our stunning North Coast.
“It is clear that the creation of visitor experiences that showcase our natural landscape and are compelling and accessible to all can offer long term sustainability and growth for rural tourism in Northern Ireland.”
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Mark Fielding said: “This project will create a world class visitor experience, delivering an accessible, unique and innovative offering which complements the unique geography of the area.
“I would like to sincerely thank the Minister and his staff for their support through the Rural Development Programmes Strategic Tourism Scheme, as well as the Landfill Community Fund for its generous contribution. This will allow Council to continuously work towards improving our public realm infrastructure, for the benefit of the local community, visitors and the rural economy.
“Along with other improvement projects funded by DAERA, including that at Portaneevy between Ballycastle and Ballintoy, we want to enhance the attractiveness of the wider area and complement our existing tourism experience which helps to make our destination so special.”
- Do things differently this Halloween and put safety first for all: An appeal from the Mayor
The safety of our families and the wider community must be our main priority this Halloween, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has said.
Alderman Mark Fielding is appealing to everyone to ensure their celebrations are in line with current public health advice as efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus continue.
While Council’s typical Halloween events are unable to proceed this year, a virtual programme has been developed instead which everyone can enjoy safely from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
The Mayor said: “We have asked a lot of our communities already and we need your co-operation once again. Halloween is normally a time of great excitement around the Borough but we must do things differently this year to protect each other.
“The Public Health Agency has advised against traditions like trick or treating and I want to reiterate this. Please don’t do anything that could pose a risk to your friends, families and neighbours. I recognise this is difficult, especially for our young people, but it’s something we must all comply with.
“Our hospitals are under pressure, and healthcare staff are doing all they can in the most difficult of circumstances. Please think of them as you plan your Halloween and remember that there’s no room for complacency, especially as we approach the winter period.
“We must all continue to keep our distance from each other, wear a mask and wash our hands regularly because this will make a difference and ultimately help to save lives.”
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s virtual Halloween celebrations continue until Monday 2nd November featuring myths and legends from the area, children’s arts and crafts demonstrations and online walking tours. You can find out more by visiting www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com/halloween
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