Chamber Member Crannagh activity centre in Coleraine in £25,000 expansion and 12 more jobs created
A DOZEN jobs have been created following a £25,000 expansion of one of the north coast's best-known activity centres.
The Edge Watersports facility within the Crannagh Centre on the banks of the Lower Bann between Coleraine and Portstewart is extending its existing water park by 40 per cent to more than 2,500 square metres, increasing its potential capacity from 80 to 120 visitors.
British Water Ski and Wake-board senior instructor Rob Skelly, who owns the Edge Watersports at Crannagh, said: "As one of Northern Ireland's largest water parks, we offer a wide range of activities from water-skiing, wake-boarding and banana boating to tube rides, kayaking and stand up paddle-boarding.
"When we moved our business to the Crannagh three years ago we employed seven staff, just two full-time. Due to this recent expansion staff numbers have increased from 20 to 32, with 25 of these jobs being full-time.
The Edge Watersports is one of the longest established activity providers on the north coast with 20 years experience providing activities for all age groups. Established at Drumaheglis Marina in Ballymoney in 1996, it moved to the Crannagh Marina in Coleraine 2015.
Since then Crannagh's popularity has steadily increased. There were 16,000 visitors in 2016, rising to 18,000 last year, and numbers for 2018 will peak at more than 20,000, making it the most popular water sports destination in Ireland.
Mr Skelly continues: "This year we have added even more obstacles and slides to the water park and reconfigured the existing layout, increasing the size.”
Seamus Carey, owner of Crannagh Marina Complex (www.thecrannagh.co.uk), said: "We have invested more than £2 million in recent years at the complex and have ambitious plans for the next year, when we will be constructing on-site accommodation. Phase one will provide 30 bedrooms, with luxury cabins and camping pods.
"The Crannagh marina, which currently offers over 200m of pontoons and has a large number of deep water moorings, also plans to increase its size to allow more and larger boats to berth."