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Blessingbourne Phase II: Work Begins


Work has now started on a further seven kilometres of purpose-built mountain biking trails through Blessingbourne Estate in Fivemiletown.

This development will double the length of the trails network within the estate and raise the profile of Blessingbourne as one of Northern Ireland’s flagship mountain bike trail centres. With a total investment of £527,000, this Phase II development also includes the installation of a visitor building and amenity area to service mountain bikers using the Blessingbourne Trails.

Speaking at the cut of the first sod, Executive Director of Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland, Dr Caro-lynne Ferris explained, “We are incredibly excited about the new trails and facilities going into Blessingbourne Estate and can’t wait to see more people enjoying the trails as a result of this Phase II development.”

With purpose-built mountain biking trails recently opened in Castlewellan and Rostrevor in the Mourne Mountains as well as an extensive network of trails now launched in nearby Davagh Forest, this trails development at Blessingbourne Estate could not have come at the better time.

Dr Ferris continued, “It has been quite a year for mountain biking in Northern Ireland. We now have over 100km of purpose-built trails across five centres each with their own unique selling points and we expect the trails here at Blessingbourne to be a favourite amongst families and enthusiasts alike.”

With a construction period of approximately seven months, the new trails are due to open in December this year. Councillor Sean Mc Guigan, Vice Chair of the South West Action for Rural Development Joint Council Committee comments, “The mountain biking trails at Blessingbourne Estate have been an unprecedented success since their launch in 2011. Over the last two years, more than 20,000 people have enjoyed the trails and so we are delighted to see work now starting on this development which will increase the capacity of these superb recreational facilities.”

Councillor Mc Guigan continues, “SWARD is delighted to be funding this Phase II development with a £392,000 investment from the Rural Development Programme through DARD and the European Union and look forward to seeing this trail centre at Blessingbourne Estate grow from strength to strength.”

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board has invested £118,000 into these new trails and Director of Product Development Aine Kearney explains, “Mountain Biking is one of the fastest growing adventure activities in the UK. With the plethora of mountain biking facilities now available throughout the province, Northern Ireland is now widely regarded as the next visit mountain biking destination in the UK and Ireland. Upon completion of these new trails and facilities, Blessingbourne Estate will sit proudly on the top tier of mountain biking facilities and is expected to attract large numbers of these activity visitors moving forward.

Click here for more information on the Blessingbourne Trails

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