Colin Glen, which is situated in the heart of West Belfast and has attracted over 220,000 visitors last year from across the world, has launched exciting new plans outlining its vision to develop the park into a major visitor attraction.
The announcement was made at an event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Colin Glen Trust, whose task it is to manage, maintain and promote the West Belfast 240 acre facility. Over the past four years the Trust has successfully developed a number of additional facilities such as the SKYTREK high ropes adventure facility, a tepee camping village, bubble ball arena, a new water sports site, laser combat zone, 3G pitches and a 16 bay golf driving range; all of which complement the miles of paths through stunning woodland, rivers, ponds and meadows.
The vision is aimed at utilising and protecting a magnificent natural resource in the heart of one of Northern Ireland’s most deprived areas which is attracting visitors from as far afield as Thailand, Africa, America, Spain, Canada, England and the South of Ireland.
The Trust has faced down challenges with young people in the local area by introducing a Youth Empowerment scheme funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Local youth are gaining qualifications and work experience in areas including; PGA golf, IFA football coaching, fitness coaching, GNAS archery, climbing, canoeing, kayaking and mountain biking.
Outlining Colin Glen Trust’s vision for the future Colin O’Neill, Chief Executive commented about the significant growth of the facility in West Belfast, which has remained very much under the radar. The future development will position Colin Glen as an inclusive family attraction, adventure park for both local and international visitors.
Commenting he said “Over the last number of years we have significantly developed and expanded the facilities at Colin Glen. We now have global visitors making the trip to West Belfast to enjoy the wide range of activities available. Today we launch plans to enhance the services including a much needed new visitors’ centre and a host of new attractions including Interactive Heritage Exhibitions, Tree top accommodation, Mountain Bike Regional Centre with Pump track, Tree Top Roller Coaster and more.
“We understand that funding is becoming increasingly difficult to source and maintain however one thing remains constant; The development of Colin Glen will continue to create jobs, training, inward investment, world class facilities and a fantastic facility that they people of this area can be immensely proud off.”
Belfast Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon commented “The Council welcomes that this area will be included within the Belfast City Council boundary and we want to play an active role in sustaining the excellent work that the Colin Glen Trust has been undertaking for the last 25 years. We applaud your themes of protecting the Forest Park and providing world-class facilities for the people of West Belfast and beyond and I wish you every success in your venture to develop and deliver a major environmental based tourist/visitor destination.”