Visitor plan for Seamus Heaney Centre to ‘maximise’ tourism potential in Mid-Ulster

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The Northern Ireland Tourist Board has offered Magherafelt District Council £10,000 to part fund a study that would develop a visitor plan for the Seamus Heaney Centre at Bellaghy.

Policy and Development officer, Anne-Marie Campbell told the monthly meeting that the plan would make recommendations as to how Council could maximise the tourism potential of the project.

It will look at how it would link with the surrounding community, other visitor attractions in the area and sites in the neighbouring townlands.

“The plan would identify how the private tourism sector can support as well as benefit from the visitors to the centre and identify cluster opportunities with the wider Seamus Heaney story,” she explained.

“It also includes a proposal for a learning journey for some private sector operators to participate in learning journey to a similar GB destination exemplifying best practice in literary tourism.”

On the proposal of Councillor Patricia Smith, councillors agreed to provide match funding of £5,000 to procure professional support to develop a visitor management plan for the new centre.

Planning approval was recently obtained for the development at the site of the former police station in the village. When completed, it is expected to create around five jobs.