RURAL Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA has attended the official opening of the Adventure Play Trail in Gosford Forest Park at Markethill.
The Adventure Play Trail, set in 240 hectares of stunning woodland and green spaces, comprises five unique superstructures which form part of a giant-sized outdoor adventure play area. The project was funded through the Rural Tourism Scheme of DAERA’s Rural Development Programme. DAERA contributed £500,000 to the overall cost of £850,000.
Following the ceremony, Minister Poots said: “Tourism is vitally important to our rural economy and that is why we wanted to invest in infrastructure that would help attract more visitors to Northern Ireland and encourage them to stay longer.
“I’m therefore delighted to be announcing the opening of the Adventure Play Trail, and I am confident that this unique play park will become another must see destination for tourists arriving to this stunning part of Northern Ireland when Covid restrictions eventually recede.
“It is clear from my visit here today that the creation of innovative visitor experiences that showcase our natural landscape, which are compelling and accessible to all, can offer long term sustainability and growth for rural tourism in Northern Ireland.”
Speaking at the official opening, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Kevin Savage said: “These beautifully crafted new play structures are an important addition to the offering at Gosford and this development dramatically enhances this outdoor experience for children and families to enjoy as they reconnect with nature.
“This is a fabulous addition to our portfolio of outdoor attractions that will be enjoyed for generations to come, and already we are seeing huge benefits as increasing numbers of families explore the great outdoors during these current times.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for the significant funding and to congratulate everyone involved in bringing this project to fruition.”