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Causeway Coast Economic Team Explores Giant Plans for the Future

A new Economic Advisory Group met last week at Ulster University to begin strategic planning for the future of the Causeway Coast and Glens Council Area.

The specialist visionary economic team has been charged with the responsibility of working collaboratively and looking ahead to the future to find the best ways of shaping growth for the Borough as part of the Community Plan. Partners Ulster University, Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Causeway and Roe Valley Enterprise Agencies, Northern Regional College, North West Regional College, Invest NI, Causeway Chamber of Commerce are all concentrating their best minds on the way ahead.

Causeway Coast and Glens finds itself in incredible times, with a 40% growth in tourism, A World-stage opportunity with the imminent arrival of The Open 2019, an unparalleled coastline achieving huge interest across the globe due to Tourism promotions, the excitement of the Giants Causeway experience, and the impact of the Game of Thrones and other film features.

At the first meeting, hosted by Ulster University Provost Professor Karise Hutchinson on the 3rd of March, the group outlined their initial recommendations:

· As a Council area, we have the privilege of a University within reach, and we need to grasp the opportunity of spin-out innovation from the University into local business initiatives, and we need to be known for innovation and industry as well as tourism.

· Our tourist experience is growing daily, and we need to engage with our Digital tourism connection, to ensure that the wider world hears specifically about us, enabling us to tune our message and our charges to pay our staff well.

· Our workforce needs to be skilled to the max – we need to develop training opportunities through our University and Colleges to ensure this happens – a skilled workforce, is a well-paid workforce.

· As a result of our growth, we need to tackle some key areas of struggling infrastructure, from energy, to waste, and to road, rail and air. Many of these issues will require wider Government involvement, and we need to sharpen our message to make sure that we are heard.

Chair of the Economic Advisory Group, Professor Karise Hutchinson, Ulster University commented:

“I am delighted to chair this newly established Economic Advisory Group and work together with partners across the local community to drive forward economic growth in the area. As Northern Ireland’s civic university we are committed to sharing our knowledge and expertise to develop the skills of the region and drive forward innovation.”

The group welcomes feedback on the initial recommendations from those in the local community. Thoughts or ideas should be sent to futurecauseway@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk

More information on the Causeway community plan can be found at: https://www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/council/community-planning/causeway-coast-and-glens-draft-community-plan-2017-2030

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