Plans to transform the historic town of Carrickfergus have taken a significant step forward with the appointment of leading design, architectural and engineering specialists McAdam Design to help deliver the £42m Belfast Region City Deal project.
The initiative will regenerate, reposition, and rebrand Carrickfergus, firmly placing the town on the map as an authentic, heritage-led, tourism hub, and a ‘must-visit’ starting point to the internationally acclaimed Causeway Coastal Route.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said: “The appointment of McAdam Design is excellent news and crucial to our continued progress on the Belfast Region City Deal vision for Carrickfergus and Mid and East Antrim.
“McAdam Design is rightly regarded as one of the UK’s leading experts in design, engineering and architecture and we are delighted as a Council to have secured their expertise, experience and knowledge on this crucial project that will vastly improve Carrickfergus for residents, visitors and businesses alike.”
The investment will deliver upgrades and improvements to Carrickfergus Castle – including its visitor hub and historic walls – alongside a significantly enhanced public realm scheme that will improve the Norman Castle’s connection to the town centre.
It’s expected to boost Mid and East Antrim’s economy by more than £9m and create around 155 jobs in the attractions. Construction work is expected to create more than 140 jobs per year, with work due to be completed by 2029.
Gerard Murray, Director of the Regional Development Office, Department for Communities, said: “We have reached a significant milestone in the Carrickfergus Regeneration Project with the appointment of McAdam Design.
“The Department for Communities is committed to the regeneration of our cities, towns and villages and the progress is testament to the excellent partnership between the Department, Council colleagues and wider stakeholders.
“I am delighted that we are another step closer to the realisation of the vast benefits stemming from the Belfast Region City Deal for Carrickfergus.
“By enhancing its buildings and spaces in a way that complements the restoration of its historic features, this significant regeneration will make Carrickfergus even more attractive and engaging to those who live, work, visit and invest in it.”
Managing Director Martin Hare from McAdam Design, said: “This is an exciting multi-dimensional project, and we are delighted to be working alongside the local Council, wider community and committed government agencies on this landmark redevelopment.
“Together we can enhance the existing historic Carrickfergus infrastructure to provide a vibrant tourist destination and prominent gateway to Northern Ireland’s world-famous North Coast.”
The Carrickfergus initiative is one of three projects to benefit from Belfast Region City Deal funding totalling £80m locally. Others include the creation of an i4C Innovation Centre in Ballymena and the delivery of Phase II of development of The Gobbins visitor experience in Islandmagee.