Monday 21 August 2017 07:23:13 AM

Clarke Explores Castlewellan Courtyard Ideas
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SOUTH Down MLA Willie Clarke has met with Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew to explore ways of developing the courtyard area of Castlewellan Park.

Sinn Féin Council and Assembly candidate Willie Clarke has described a meeting he attended this week with DARD Minister Michelle Gildernew and senior Forestry officials to exam ways of developing Castlewellan Park as “very useful and encouraging”.

Councillor Clarke said, “It is important that Minister Gildernew and departmental officials heard first hand from how we can develop the park for the economic benefit of the District in a way that also preserves its unique character and cultural heritage.

“It is obvious that there are significant opportunities to transform the courtyard in Castlewellan Park so that is able to incorporate other small business to compliment the existing providers. I made the point that arts and crafts, combined with local producers, could provide an excellent venue for a Farmer’s Market.  “We also discussed the location of an adventure playground, to be progressed in a partnership between Council and the Forestry Service, which will be a priority for Sinn Féin during the terms of the next Council and Assembly.

This will build upon the partnership approach which will see the creation of a state-of-the-art mountain biking facility located at Castlewellan and Rostrevor which will provide all year tourism income for our district. Tourism and local crafts are growing businesses which If developed properly could provide a dynamic hub of activity – the rich natural and cultural heritage of the area means it is a prime location for many activities. In the year ahead it is important that this issue is progressed at a local council level and in the Assembly,” added Councillor Clarke.