Local business secures grant funding to develop sustainable tourism experiences

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Following a rigorous application process a local activity centre has been successful in securing grant funding to develop new and existing tourism experiences.

Strangford Lough Activity Centre have invested significantly in new activity equipment with the assistance of Tourism NI’s Experience Development Programme. Aiming for an immediate roll out, the company has purchased E bikes, touring paddle boards, sea kayaks and a floating platform adding to their ever-increasing portfolio of adventure sport experiences.

Discussing their new plans, Rory Martin – Managing Director said,

“We are very excited about these new experiences. We’ve come a long way in the last 4 years and are aiming to maintain and build upon the tourism product in the area. As an experiential outdoor activity centre, the funding will assist us with our aims to develop sustainable, quirky, bespoke activities for individuals, families, and groups alike. The new activities will allow us to attract new markets, recruit and train more staff and help the business to grow further. In turn this will have a benefit on the local economy, with customers staying in local accommodation, eating out and visiting nearby attractions. We are developing local business partnerships and are delighted to be offering new sustainable tourism activities”.

Strangford Lough Activity Centre have witnessed a huge rise in demand for activity experiences since the reopening of activities after the pandemic. But it wasn’t all plain sailing as Rory suggests,

We launched the business in February 2020. About a week later, we went into full lockdown! It seemed like our timing couldn’t have been worse. However as soon as the doors opened, people really yearned for activities in beautiful scenery and as they couldn’t travel abroad, we witnessed unprecedented levels of demand. We increased our staff levels and range of activities to accommodate these new visitors. As people learn and progress, we’re noticing demand for more adventurous experiences and are delighted that we can now provide this with more advanced equipment”

Tourism NI’s Experience Development Programme supports tourism businesses to develop new or enhanced visitor experiences to support recovery of the Northern Ireland tourism sector and stimulate growth.

Attending the launch of the new experiences, Maria McAlister, Interim Landscapes and Activities Manger at Tourism NI commented;

“Tourism NI is delighted to support Strangford Lough Activity Centre through our Experience Development Programme. The new activities on offer will undoubtedly create compelling reasons to visit the area.  The increasing demand for the outdoors, wellness and adventure demonstrates that activity tourism continues to be an important contributor to sustainable economic growth in the region.”


Strangford Lough Activity Centre is a quirky, experiential, outdoor activity centre located in Whiterock, Killinchy on the shores of Strangford Lough.

Images feature: Tourism NI Rep – Maria McAlister, Interim Manager Landscapes and Activities (E Bike), Rory Martin, Managing Director Strangford Lough Activity Centre (Paddle Board), Christine Martin, Director Strangford Lough Activity Centre (Kayak)

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