Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015
District Proposals: Metropolitan Newtownabbey: Tourism
The potential for the development of tourism in the Borough is based on its significant natural assets. The key challenge is to secure the economic benefits of tourism development whilst conserving the assets of the natural environment.
The Borough benefits from its proximity to the Belfast tourism market and the proximity of facilities and accommodation of the city centre, together with its location on the route to Belfast International Airport and the Belfast Lough coastal road. The Belfast Lough coastal area includes a path, which runs from Dargan Road in Belfast to the Jordanstown Loughshore Park and forms part of the National Cycle Network. Hazelbank Park and Jordanstown Loughshore Park prove popular to visitors at all times of the year, but especially during the summer months.
The potential exists to expand on the day trip market around the coastal section of Newtownabbey, with the possibility of cruising and exploitation of the events market. Accommodation is available in the 700 rooms at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, halls of residence during the summer months.
The Valley Park offers recreational activities, including the provision of various sports and walks and Carnmoney Hill, Carrickfergus Escarpment and the Belfast Hills, offer potential for rambling and countryside recreation. There are also a number of golfing facilities within Metropolitan Newtownabbey, including Ballyearl Golf and Leisure Centre, Ballyclare Golf Club, Burnfield House Golf Course and Greenacres Golf Club. Fishing is a popular visitor attraction, with trout fishing available.
Facilities for arts and culture are provided at Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre, which includes The Courtyard Theatre, and at Mossley Mill which includes a heritage gallery, temporary exhibition gallery and an education room. Sentry Hill, a farmhouse with out buildings and farmland, includes a collection of furniture, paintings, photographs, ceramics, books, archaeological and geological artefacts. A number of festivals, fairs and events also take place throughout the council area all year round.
Newtownabbey Borough Councils tourism strategy is based on the development of key tourism products, such as attractions, recreation provision, retail development and history and culture, to build on recent improvements to the tourism base, including Mossley Mill and Sentry Hill. Metropolitan Newtownabbey has the potential to accommodate further tourism.